Functional decline associated with polypharmacy and potentially inappropriate medications in community-dwelling older adults with dementia

Denys T. Lau*, Nathaniel D. Mercaldo, Joseph W. Shega, Alfred Rademaker, Sandra Weintraub

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study provides empirical evidence on whether polypharmacy and potentially inappropriate prescription medications (PIRx, as defined by the 2003 Beers criteria) increase the likelihood of functional decline among community-dwelling older adults with dementia. Data were from the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center, Uniform Data Set (9/2005-9/2009). Study sample included 1994 community-dwelling participants aged ≥65 with dementia at baseline. Results showed that participants having ≥5 medications were more likely to have functional decline than participants having <5 medications. However, the increased likelihood was only apparent in participants who did not have PIRx. Instead of magnifying the associated risk as hypothesized, PIRx appeared to have a protective effect albeit marginally statistically significant. Therefore, increased medication burden may be associated with functional decline in community-dwelling older adults with dementia who are not prescribed with PIRx. More research is needed to understand which classes of medications have the most deleterious effect on this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)606-615
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias
Volume26
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Beers criteria
  • prescription drug utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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