Adverse drug reactions in seniors

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 55, No. 4, May 2013, Page 188 News

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) reports that 1 in 200 seniors was hospitalized because of an adverse drug reaction between 2010 and 2011, compared with 1 in 1000 of all other Canadians.

The number of seniors hospitaliz­ed due to an adverse drug reaction has increased by an average of 3% a year between 2006–2007 and 2010–2011, and accounted for about 3% of all seniors’ hospitalizations over the period.

CIHI says the real rate of adverse drug reaction–related hospitalizations is likely higher since the issue is known to be underreported in administrative data.

Blood thinners, often used to prevent heart attack and stroke, were the drug class most commonly associated with hospitalizations related to ad­verse drug reactions among seniors (12.6%). This was followed by chemo­therapy drugs (12.1%) and opioids (7.4%).

The report, “Adverse Drug Reaction-Related Hospitalizations Among Seniors, 2006 to 2011,” can be viewed at

. Adverse drug reactions in seniors . BCMJ, Vol. 55, No. 4, May, 2013, Page(s) 188 - News.

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