Health in Men Study: is frailty a predictor of medication-related hospitalization?

N. Athuraliya, C. Etherton-Beer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Older adults are at high risk of medication-related hospitalizations. Frailty is a phenotype commonly observed in older people due to declining physiological functions. AIM: To examine the association of frailty with medication-related hospitalization among community dwelling older men. METHODS: A prospective observational cohort study was conducted among community dwelling older men (mean age 75.6 years SD 5.9) from Western Australia (4324) who participated in the Health in Men Study. Participants were followed-up at 12 and 24 months to determine adverse drug event-related hospitalization, hospitalizations for other causes and mortality. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: The prevalence of frailty was 13.2%. At baseline, frailty was associated with exposure to polypharmacy, potentially inappropriate medication use and potential adverse drug-drug interactions with unadjusted odds ratios; [4.13 (3.48-4.89) P < 0.001], [2.46 (1.91-3.17) P < 0.001], [3.85 (3.03-4.90) P < 0.001], respectively. In unadjusted models, frail men were more likely to have non-accidental falls [OR 3.16 (2.51-3.99) P < 0.001], acute kidney injury [OR 3.37 (2.35-4.82) P < 0.001], ADE-related hospitalizations at 12 months [OR 6.83 (4.91-9.51)] and non-ADE-related hospitalizations [OR 2.63 (2.01-3.45)], or to be dead at 12 months [OR 2.97 (1.79-4.92)] and at 24 months [OR 3.14 (2.28-4.33)] when compared with non-frail men. After adjusting for age, living alone, cognitive decline, smoking status and comorbidity, frailty remained associated with ADE-related hospitalization [OR 3.60 (2.41-5.37)], non-ADE-related hospitalizations [OR 1.74 (1.29-2.36)] and death [OR 1.67 (1.15-2.41)]. CONCLUSION: The study suggests that frailty is a predictor of medication-related harm with poorer clinical outcomes including mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-90
Number of pages7
JournalQJM : monthly journal of the Association of Physicians
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2022


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