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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Geriatrics

Adverse Drug Reactions Related Hospital Admissions in Persons Aged 60 Years and over, The Netherlands, 1981–2007: Less Rapid Increase, Different Drugs
Published: Friday, November 12, 2010
Author: Klaas A. Hartholt et al.

by Klaas A. Hartholt, Nathalie van der Velde, Caspar W. N. Looman, Martien J. M. Panneman, Ed F. van Beeck, Peter Patka, Tischa J. M. van der Cammen

Background

Epidemiologic information on time trends of Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR) and ADR-related hospitalizations is scarce. Over time, pharmacotherapy has become increasingly complex. Because of raised awareness of ADR, a decrease in ADR might be expected. The aim of this study was to determine trends in ADR-related hospitalizations in the older Dutch population.

Methodology and Principal Findings

Secular trend analysis of ADR-related hospital admissions in patients =60 years between 1981 and 2007, using the National Hospital Discharge Registry of the Netherlands. Numbers, age-specific and age-adjusted incidence rates (per 10,000 persons) of ADR-related hospital admissions were used as outcome measures in each year of the study. Between 1981 and 2007, ADR-related hospital admissions in persons =60 years increased by 143%. The overall standardized incidence rate increased from 23.3 to 38.3 per 10,000 older persons. The increase was larger in males than in females. Since 1997, the increase in incidence rates of ADR-related hospitalizations flattened (percentage annual change 0.65%), compared to the period 1981–1996 (percentage annual change 2.56%).

Conclusion/Significance

ADR-related hospital admissions in older persons have shown a rapidly increasing trend in the Netherlands over the last three decades with a temporization since 1997. Although an encouraging flattening in the increasing trend of ADR-related admissions was found around 1997, the incidence is still rising, which warrants sustained attention to this problem.

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