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Purpose. The relationship between medication use and falls among hospitalized elderly patients was studied.
Methods. Sixty-two patients 65 years of age or older who fell during hospitalization were randomly selected from incident reports of falls and matched for age, sex, and discharge date with 62 patients who did not fall. Data on demographic characteristics, vital signs, laboratory test variables, drug therapy, and the presence of other known risk factors for falls were collected retrospectively and compared between the groups.
Results. Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) use was more frequent in patients who fell than in control patients. NSAID use was a significant predictor of falls and was associated with a 10-fold increase in the likelihood of falling. Opioid analgesics were given more frequently to control patients and were not associated with falls. Dementia, the only non-medication-related independent predicator of falls, was associated with a 21-fold greater risk of falling.
Conclusion. In hospitalized elderly patients, there was a significant association between NSAID use and falls, an effect largely accounted for by low-dose aspirin.
- Accidental falls
- Analgesics and antipyretics
- Antiinflammatory agents
- Copyright © 2005. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. All rights reserved. 1079-2082/04/0602-1242$06.00