Comorbidity of chronic disease and potential treatment conflicts in older people dispensed antidepressants

Caughey, Gillian Elizabeth, Roughead, Elizabeth Ellen, Shakib, Sepehr, McDermott, Robyn A., Vitry, Agnes I., and Gilbert, Andrew L. (2010) Comorbidity of chronic disease and potential treatment conflicts in older people dispensed antidepressants. Age and Ageing, 39 (4). pp. 488-494.

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Objectives: the study aimed to examine the prevalence of comorbidity, the prescribing of potentially inappropriate medications and treatment conflicts in a large sample of older people who have been dispensed an antidepressant medicine.

Methods: a cross-sectional study of administrative claims data from the Department of Veterans' Affairs, Australia, 1 April–31 July 2007, of veterans aged ≥65 years was conducted. Comorbidities determined using the pharmaceutical-based comorbidity index, Rx-Risk-V. Concomitant medicines that may be potentially inappropriate for patients with depression and areas of treatment conflicts were determined from Australian clinical guidelines or reference compendia.

Results: a total of 39,695 subjects were included, with a median of 5 comorbid conditions (inter-quartile range 3–6). Ninety percent of medicine use was attributed to the treatment of comorbid conditions. Eighty-seven percent of the study cohort was identified as having at least one comorbid condition that may cause a potential treatment conflict when an antidepressant is used. Those conditions of most concern included cardiovascular diseases, anxiety disorders, arthritis or pain management and osteoporosis.

Conclusion: we observed a high level of potentially inappropriate prescribing and treatment conflicts that may arise when caring for older patients dispensed an antidepressant with comorbidity. These have the potential to place a large number of older people with depression at increased risk for adverse events.

Item ID: 35805
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1468-2834
Keywords: comorbidity, antidepressant, depression, chronic disease, elderly
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC)
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2014 16:48
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111702 Aged Health Care @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920502 Health Related to Ageing @ 100%
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