Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2018 Oct;18(10):1497-1500. doi: 10.1111/ggi.13507. Epub 2018 Aug 30.
Polypharmacy is associated with frailty in Japanese community-dwelling older adults.
AIM: The association between polypharmacy and the development of frailty is unknown. The present study assessed the longitudinal relationship between polypharmacy and frailty risk in Japanese community-dwelling older adults.
METHODS: Participants included 299 non-frail older Japanese adults aged 65-81 years who participated in both baseline and follow-up examinations of a longitudinal study of aging (mean duration 6.2 years). At baseline examination, all prescribed and non-prescribed medications used during the previous 2 weeks were confirmed and coded by physicians. Frailty was diagnosed according to frailty criteria, and included shrinking, exhaustion, low activity, low grip strength and low gait speed. The relationship between frailty and the number of medications was assessed using multiple logistic regression analysis. The logistic regression model was used to control for potential confounders, including age at baseline, sex, body fat, total physical activity, education, employment, current smoking and number of comorbidities.
RESULTS: The percentage of participants who developed frailty during follow up was 5.1% in those taking five or fewer medications, and 22.5% in those taking six or more medications. The fully adjusted odds ratio for frailty among participants taking six or more medications was 5.55 (95% confidence interval 2.17-14.22).
CONCLUSIONS: Polypharmacy appears to be a significant risk factor for the development of frailty in older Japanese adults. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2018; 18: 1497-1500.