To investigate the association between potentially inappropriate medicine (PIM) use, defined using the American Geriatric Society (AGS) 2012 Beers criteria, and the risk of hospitalization or emergency department (ED) visits in elderly patients, and to examine the most frequently used PIMs among patients with adverse outcomes.
This was a retrospective study using National Health Insurance claims data from 2010 to 2012.
Elderly patients who took PIMs are compared to those who were not taking PIMs.
Elderly patients (n = 79 552) who visited medical institutions in Jeju Island during 2011.
Hospitalization and ED visits were evaluated according to whether the patients took PIMs during the study period. The most frequent medications used by the PIM group were also investigated.
The likelihood of hospitalization was higher in older patients who took at least one PIM than in those who were not taking PIMs during the study period (odds ratio 2.25, 95% confidence interval 2.09–2.44). Patients taking PIMs were more likely to visit EDs (odds ratio 1.59, 95% confidence interval 1.50–1.67). Among patients who were hospitalized or visited EDs, 45.5% had taken at least one PIM on that day. The most commonly used PIMs included chlorpheniramine maleate, diazepam, metoclopramide HCl and diclofenac sodium.
Our findings indicate that PIM use can lead to negative health consequences, providing further evidence of the inappropriateness of these medications. Thus, pharmaceutical policies regarding PIM use may need to be implemented for elderly adults in Korea.