Patient factors associated with new prescribing of potentially inappropriate medications in multimorbid US older adults using multiple medications.

Jungo, Katharina Tabea; Streit, Sven; Lauffenburger, Julie C (2021). Patient factors associated with new prescribing of potentially inappropriate medications in multimorbid US older adults using multiple medications. BMC Geriatrics, 21(1), p. 163. BioMed Central 10.1186/s12877-021-02089-x

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The use of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) is common in older adults and is associated with potential negative consequences, such as falls and cognitive decline. Our objective was to investigate measurable patient factors associated with new outpatient prescribing of potentially inappropriate medications in older multimorbid adults already using multiple medications.


In this retrospective US cohort study, we used linked Medicare pharmacy and medical claims and electronic health record data from a large healthcare system in Massachusetts between 2007 and 2014. We identified patients aged ≥65 years with an office visit who had not been prescribed or used a PIM in the prior 180 days. PIMs were defined using 2019 Beers criteria of the American Geriatrics Society. To specifically evaluate factors in patients with polypharmacy and multimorbidity, we selected those who filled medications for ≥90 days (i.e., chronic use) from ≥5 pharmaceutical classes in the prior 180 days and had ≥2 chronic conditions. Multivariable Cox regression analysis was used to estimate the association between baseline demographic and clinical characteristics on the probability of being prescribed a PIM in the 90-day follow-up period.


In total, we identified 17,912 patients aged ≥65 years with multimorbidity and polypharmacy who were naïve to a PIM in the prior 180 days. Of those, 10,497 (58.6%) were female, and mean age was 78 (SD = 7.5). On average, patients had 5.1 (SD = 2.3) chronic conditions and previously filled 6.1 (SD = 1.4) chronic medications. In total, 447 patients (2.5%) were prescribed a PIM during the 90-day follow-up. Male sex (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 1.29; 95%CI: 1.06-1.57), age (≥85 years: HR = 0.75, 95%CI: 0.56-0.99, 75-84 years: HR = 0.87, 95%CI: 0.71-1.07; reference: 65-74 years), ambulatory visits (18-29 visits: HR = 1.42, 95%CI: 1.06-1.92; ≥30 visits: HR = 2.12, 95%CI: 1.53-2.95; reference: ≤9 visits), number of prescribing orders (HR = 1.02, 95%CI: 1.01-1.02 per 1-unit increase), and heart failure (HR = 1.38, 95%CI: 1.07-1.78) were independently associated with being newly prescribed a PIM.


Several demographic and clinical characteristics, including factors suggesting lack of care coordination and increased clinical complexity, were found to be associated with the new prescribing of potentially inappropriate medications. This knowledge could inform the design of interventions and policies to optimize pharmacotherapy for these patients.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute of General Practice and Primary Care (BIHAM)

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Health Sciences (GHS)

UniBE Contributor:

Jungo, Katharina Tabea, Streit, Sven


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services




BioMed Central


[4] Swiss National Science Foundation




Andrea Flükiger-Flückiger

Date Deposited:

15 Mar 2021 12:12

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:48

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Multimorbidity Polypharmacy Potentially inappropriate prescribing




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