Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Filters applied. Clear all
[Online ahead of print]

Evolution of Polypharmacy in a Spanish Population (2005-2015): A Database Study

Affiliations

Evolution of Polypharmacy in a Spanish Population (2005-2015): A Database Study

Miguel Ángel Hernández-Rodríguez et al. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf.

Abstract

Purpose: To analyze the evolution of the prevalence of polypharmacy and excessive polypharmacy in a Spanish population, and to improve the identification of patients with polypharmacy.

Methods: A descriptive, annual cross-sectional observational study was carried out.

Patients: individuals over 14 years of age included in a multiregional primary care database of the Spanish population (BIFAP).

Analysis: prescription data. Period 2005-2015.

Variables: proportion of patients with polypharmacy (simultaneous prescription of ≥5 drugs) and excessive polypharmacy (≥10 drugs) for at least 6 months, according to sex and age groups. A trend analysis of the studied period was performed (overall, and by sex and age groups).

Results: The data are reported on a comparative basis (2005 vs 2015). Number of patients analyzed: 2664743 vs 4 002 877. The prevalence of polypharmacy increased significantly (2.5% vs 8.9%, P-value for trend <0.001), being greater in females throughout the study period and in the group aged ≥80 years (P-value for trends <0.001). The prevalence of excessive polypharmacy also increased significantly (0.1% vs 1%, P-value for trend <0.001), being higher in the group aged ≥80 years (P-value for trend <0.001). The proportion of patients with no chronic treatment decreased (80.2% vs 63.1%).

Conclusions: The prevalence of polypharmacy in this Spanish population has tripled in the period 2005-2015, while excessive polypharmacy has increased 10-fold. These increments are seen in both sexes and in all age groups, particularly in individuals over 80 years of age. The proportion of patients without chronic treatments has decreased.

Keywords: Pharmacoepidemiology; Polypharmacy; drug utilization; electronic prescribing; medical records systems, computerized.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

References

REFERENCES

    1. Gorard DA. Escalating polypharmacy. QJM. 2006;99(11):797-800. https://doi.org/10.1093/qjmed/hcl109.
    1. EUROSTAT. Proportion of population aged 65 and over. https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/databrowser/view/tps00028/CustomView_1/table?lang=en. Published 2019.
    1. Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE). Indicadores de población y censos demográficos. Proyecciones de población. http://www.ine.es/dyngs/INEbase/es/operacion.htm?c=Estadistica_C&cid=1254736176953&menu=ultiDatos&idp=1254735572981. Published 2018.
    1. Ble A, Masoli JAH, Barry HE, et al. Any versus long-term prescribing of high risk medications in older people using 2012 beers criteria: results from three cross-sectional samples of primary care records for 2003/4, 2007/8 and 2011/12. BMC Geriatr. 2015;15(1):146. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-015-0143-8.
    1. Hovstadius B, Hovstadius K, Åstrand B, Petersson G. Increasing polypharmacy - an individual-based study of the Swedish population 2005-2008. BMC Clin Pharmacol. 2010;10(16). https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6904-10-16.

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback