Study finds that most older adults are aware of medication risks

September 18, 2017

Geriatrics experts know that certain medications may have risks for older adults that outweigh their benefits, especially when safer alternatives are available. Medications that could be "potentially inappropriate" for older adults are included on recommendation lists that your healthcare provider can consult, such as the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Beers Criteria or the STOPP-START list.

However, despite these recommendations, 25 percent of older adults take at least one potentially inappropriate medication every year. Taking these medications can increase the risk of being hospitalized due to a medication-related problem. Although 70 percent of older adults are willing to stop taking certain medications, healthcare providers continue to prescribe some potentially inappropriate medicines to older adults.

Researchers from the Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie in Montréal, Canada, designed a survey to learn about older adults' awareness of drug-related health risks. They conducted the survey over the telephone with 2,665 participants, aged 65 or older.

The researchers learned that:The researchers suggested that the more information people have about potential risks associated with their medications, the more likely they may be to discuss reducing potentially inappropriate medications.
-end-
This summary is from "Older Adults' Awareness of Deprescribing: A Population-based Survey." It appears online ahead of print in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study authors are Justin P. Turner, PhD, and Cara Tannenbaum, MD, MSc, of the Centre de Recherche, Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada.

American Geriatrics Society

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