Anticholinergic Drug Burden in Persons with Dementia Taking a Cholinesterase Inhibitor: The Effect of Multiple Physicians.
ABSTRACT: To explore the association between the number of physicians providing care and anticholinergic drug burden in older persons newly initiated on cholinesterase inhibitor therapy for the management of dementia.Population-based cross-sectional study.Community and long-term care, Ontario, Canada.Community-dwelling (n = 79,067, mean age 81.0, 60.8% female) and long-term care residing (n = 12,113, mean age 84.3, 67.2% female) older adults (≥66) newly dispensed cholinesterase inhibitor drug therapy.Anticholinergic drug burden in the prior year measured using the Anticholinergic Risk Scale.Community-dwelling participants had seen an average of eight different physicians in the prior year. The odds of high anticholinergic drug burden (Anticholinergic Risk Scale score ≥ 2) were 24% higher for every five additional physicians providing care to individuals in the prior year (adjusted odds ratio = 1.24, 95% confidence interval = 1.21-1.26). Female sex, low-income status, previous hospitalization, and higher comorbidity score were also associated with high anticholinergic drug burden. Long-term care facility residents had seen an average of 10 different physicians in the prior year. After a sensitivity analysis, the association between high anticholinergic burden and number of physicians was no longer statistically significant in the long-term care group.In older adults newly started on cholinesterase inhibitor drug therapy, greater number of physicians providing care was associated with higher anticholinergic drug burden scores. Given the potential risks of anticholinergic drug use, improved communication among physicians and an anticholinergic medication review before prescribing a new drug are important strategies to improve prescribing quality.
Project description:Prescribing of medications with anticholinergic properties in older nursing home residents is relatively common, despite an association with an increased risk for falls, delirium, and other outcomes. Few studies have investigated what factors influence different levels of prescribing of these agents.The primary objective was to identify factors associated with low- and high-level anticholinergic burden in nursing home residents. A secondary objective was to examine in detail the contribution of different medications to low versus high burden to aid in determining which drugs to target in interventions.This was a retrospective, cross-sectional analysis of a national sample of 2009-2010 Medicare Part A and B claims, Part D prescription drug events, and Minimum Data Set (MDS) v2.0 assessments. The cohort included 4730 Medicare beneficiaries aged ? 65 years with continuous Medicare Parts A, B, and D enrollment, admitted for non-skilled stays of ? 14 days between 1 January 2010 and 30 September 2010. Anticholinergic burden was defined using the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden (ACB) scale. Medication scores were summed at the patient level and categorized as high (score ? 3), low (score 1-2), or none. Baseline predisposing factors (age, sex, race/ethnicity), enabling factors (prior year hospitalization, emergency department, primary care, specialist visits; region; Medicaid/low-income subsidy), and medical need factors (dementia severity, anti-dementia medication, Charlson co-morbidity index [CCI], select comorbidities) were evaluated for association with anticholinergic burden using multinomial logistic regression.Overall, 29.6% of subjects had a high anticholinergic burden and 35.2% had a low burden. High burden was most often (72%) due to one highly anticholinergic medication rather than a cumulative effect. In adjusted analyses, factors associated with increased risk of both low and high anticholinergic burden included comorbidity, antidementia medication, depression, hypertension, and prior year hospitalization. Older age was associated with decreased odds of high anticholinergic burden. Urinary incontinence and prior year specialist visit were associated with increased odds of high anticholinergic burden. Severe and nonsevere dementia were associated with decreased odds of low burden but increased odds of high burden.Almost two-thirds of nursing home patients have some degree of anticholinergic burden. Several medical need variables are significantly associated with increased risk for low and high anticholinergic burden. Interventions should be developed to optimize prescribing for residents at increased risk of receiving medications with anticholinergic properties. Future study is needed to evaluate the difference in the risk of adverse outcomes associated with various levels of anticholinergic burden.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Drugs with anticholinergic properties are considered potentially inappropriate in patients with cognitive impairment because harms-including delirium, falls, and fractures-may outweigh benefits. OBJECTIVE:To highlight opportunities to improve clinical decision making and care for patients with cognitive impairment and multiple chronic conditions, we identified distinct subgroups of patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia who had high cumulative anticholinergic burden and specific patterns of anticholinergic use. PATIENTS AND METHODS:We conducted a retrospective cohort study in a not-for-profit, integrated delivery system. Participants included community-dwelling adults aged 65 years and older (n = 13,627) with MCI or dementia and at least two other chronic diseases. We calculated the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden (ACB) score for each participant from pharmacy and electronic health record (EHR) data. Among individuals with a mean 12-month ACB score ? 2, we used agglomerative hierarchical clustering to identify groups or clusters of individuals with similar anticholinergic prescription patterns. RESULTS:Twenty-four percent (3257 participants) had high anticholinergic burden, defined as an ACB score ? 2. Clinically meaningful clusters based upon anchoring medications or drug classes included a cluster of cardiovascular medications (n = 1497; 46%); two clusters of antidepressant medications (n = 633; 20%); and a cluster based on use of bladder antimuscarinics (n = 431; 13%). Several clusters comprised multiple central nervous system (CNS)-active drugs. CONCLUSIONS:Cardiovascular and CNS-active medications comprise a substantial portion of anticholinergic burden in people with cognitive impairment and multiple chronic conditions. Antidepressants were highly prevalent. Clinical profiles elucidated by these clusters of anticholinergic medications can inform targeted approaches to care.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Anticholinergic drugs put elderly patients at a higher risk for falls, cognitive decline, and delirium as well as peripheral adverse reactions like dry mouth or constipation. Prescribers are often unaware of the drug-based anticholinergic burden (ACB) of their patients. This study aimed to develop an anticholinergic burden score for drugs licensed in Germany to be used by clinicians at prescribing level. METHODS:A systematic literature search in pubmed assessed previously published ACB tools. Quantitative grading scores were extracted, reduced to drugs available in Germany, and reevaluated by expert discussion. Drugs were scored as having no, weak, moderate, or strong anticholinergic effects. Further drugs were identified in clinical routine and included as well. RESULTS:The literature search identified 692 different drugs, with 548 drugs available in Germany. After exclusion of drugs due to no systemic effect or scoring of drug combinations (n?=?67) and evaluation of 26 additional identified drugs in clinical routine, 504 drugs were scored. Of those, 356 drugs were categorised as having no, 104 drugs were scored as weak, 18 as moderate and 29 as having strong anticholinergic effects. CONCLUSIONS:The newly created ACB score for drugs authorized in Germany can be used in daily clinical practice to reduce potentially inappropriate medications for elderly patients. Further clinical studies investigating its effect on reducing anticholinergic side effects are necessary for validation.
Project description:Importance:Anticholinergic medicines have short-term cognitive adverse effects, but it is uncertain whether long-term use of these drugs is associated with an increased risk of dementia. Objective:To assess associations between anticholinergic drug treatments and risk of dementia in persons 55 years or older. Design, Setting, and Participants:This nested case-control study took place in general practices in England that contributed to the QResearch primary care database. The study evaluated whether exposure to anticholinergic drugs was associated with dementia risk in 58 769 patients with a diagnosis of dementia and 225 574 controls 55 years or older matched by age, sex, general practice, and calendar time. Information on prescriptions for 56 drugs with strong anticholinergic properties was used to calculate measures of cumulative anticholinergic drug exposure. Data were analyzed from May 2016 to June 2018. Exposures:The primary exposure was the total standardized daily doses (TSDDs) of anticholinergic drugs prescribed in the 1 to 11 years prior to the date of diagnosis of dementia or equivalent date in matched controls (index date). Main Outcomes and Measures:Odds ratios (ORs) for dementia associated with cumulative exposure to anticholinergic drugs, adjusted for confounding variables. Results:Of the entire study population (284 343 case patients and matched controls), 179 365 (63.1%) were women, and the mean (SD) age of the entire population was 82.2 (6.8) years. The adjusted OR for dementia increased from 1.06 (95% CI, 1.03-1.09) in the lowest overall anticholinergic exposure category (total exposure of 1-90 TSDDs) to 1.49 (95% CI, 1.44-1.54) in the highest category (>1095 TSDDs), compared with no anticholinergic drug prescriptions in the 1 to 11 years before the index date. There were significant increases in dementia risk for the anticholinergic antidepressants (adjusted OR [AOR], 1.29; 95% CI, 1.24-1.34), antiparkinson drugs (AOR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.16-2.00), antipsychotics (AOR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.53-1.90), bladder antimuscarinic drugs (AOR, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.56-1.75), and antiepileptic drugs (AOR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.22-1.57) all for more than 1095 TSDDs. Results were similar when exposures were restricted to exposure windows of 3 to 13 years (AOR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.41-1.52) and 5 to 20 years (AOR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.32-1.57) before the index date for more than 1095 TSDDs. Associations were stronger in cases diagnosed before the age of 80 years. The population-attributable fraction associated with total anticholinergic drug exposure during the 1 to 11 years before diagnosis was 10.3%. Conclusions and Relevance:Exposure to several types of strong anticholinergic drugs is associated with an increased risk of dementia. These findings highlight the importance of reducing exposure to anticholinergic drugs in middle-aged and older people.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Overactive bladder (OAB) is common and morbid. Medication and diagnosis claims may be specific, but lack sensitivity to identify patients with overactive bladder. We used an "electronic health record (EHR) phenotype" to identify cases and describe treatment choices and anticholinergic burden for OAB. METHODS:We conducted a retrospective cohort study in a large, integrated health delivery system between July 2011 and June 2012 (2-year follow-up). We examined care from primary care and specialty clinics, medication and procedure use, and anticholinergic burden for each patient. RESULTS:There were 7362 patients with an EHR OAB phenotype; 50% of patients were?>?65?years old, 74% were female, and 83% were white. The distribution of care included primary care physician (PCP)/specialty co-management (25% of patients); PCP care only (18%); urology only (13%); or some other combination of specialty care (33%). Only 40% of patients were prescribed at least 1 OAB medication during the study. The mean duration of prescribed medication was 1.5?months (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4 to 1.6?months; range, <?1?month to 24?months). Independent predictors of receipt of an OAB medication included increasing age (odds ratio [OR], 1.4 for every 10?years; 95% CI, 1.4 to 1.5), women (OR, 1.6 compared with men; 95% CI, 1.4 to 1.8), diabetes (OR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1 to 1.5), and certain sources of care compared with PCP-only care: PCP/specialty co-management (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.5 to 2.0), urology (OR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.8 to 2.6), and multiple specialists (OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.2 to 1.8). Very few patients received other treatments: biofeedback (<?1%), onabotulinumtoxinA (2%), or sacral nerve stimulation (1%). Patients who received OAB medications had significantly higher anticholinergic burden than patients who did not (anticholinergic total standardized daily dose, 125 versus 46; P?<?.001). CONCLUSIONS:Although OAB is common and morbid, in a longitudinal study using an EHR OAB phenotype 40% of patients were treated with OAB medication and only briefly.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Falls/fractures are major causes of morbidity and mortality among older adults and the resulting health consequences generate a substantial economic burden. Risk factors are numerous and include overactive bladder (OAB) and anticholinergic use.<h4>Objectives</h4>We aimed to estimate the impact of falls/fractures on all-cause healthcare resource utilization and costs, according to levels of cumulative anticholinergic burden, among individuals with OAB.<h4>Methods</h4>Among a US cohort of adults with OAB (identified based on medical claims for OAB or OAB-specific medications), the frequency of resource utilization (outpatients visits, medication use, and hospitalizations) was examined according to level of anticholinergic burden. Anticholinergic burden was assessed cumulatively using a published measure, and categorized as no, low, medium, or high. Resource utilization prior to and after a fall/fracture was compared. Generalized linear models were used to examine overall and incremental changes in healthcare resource utilization and costs by fall/fracture status, and annual costs were predicted according to age, sex, fall/fracture status, and level of anticholinergic burden.<h4>Results</h4>The mean age of the OAB cohort (n?=?154,432) was 56 years, 68% were female, and baseline mean anticholinergic burden was 266.7 (i.e. a medium level of burden); a fall/fracture was experienced by 9.9% of the cohort. All estimates of resource utilization were higher among those with higher levels of anticholinergic burden, regardless of fall/fracture status, and higher for all levels of anticholinergic burden after a fall/fracture. Among those with a fall/fracture, the highest predicted annual costs were observed among those aged 66-75 years with high anticholinergic burden (US$22,408 for males, US$22,752 for females).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Falls/fractures were associated with higher costs, which increased with increasing anticholinergic burden.
Project description:(1) To describe the anticholinergic burden experienced by nursing home residents with dementia using the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden (ACB) Scale; and (2) to determine the association of anticholinergic burden and engagement in activity.Cross-sectional, using baseline data from an ongoing clinical trial.Nine nursing homes in Pennsylvania.Eighty-seven nursing home residents with dementiaThe ACB Scale was used to classify the severity of each resident's prescribed drugs' anticholinergic activity on cognition. Engagement in activity was measured by direct observation using a standard instrument.Across 775 observations, subjects were active approximately 54% of the time, doing nothing 24% of the time, and asleep over 21% of the time. Seventy-one (81.6%) subjects were prescribed at least one drug with anticholinergic properties and 32 (36.7%) were prescribed at least one drug with severe anticholinergic properties. On average, subjects had a total ACB score of 2.55 (+/- 1.9). Mental status (MMSE) and dependency (PGDRS) were associated with engagement, but use of anticholinergic drugs was not.Nursing home residents are prescribed many drugs with anticholinergic properties. The ACB Scale has utility as a tool to alert practitioners to high anticholinergic burden, who can then use this information when choosing between equally efficacious medications. Further study using larger samples of persons with dementia in earlier stages of the disease, and use of intense measurement designs are needed to more clearly determine the association of ACB with quality of life indicators.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Older people often use medications with anticholinergic or sedative side effects which increase the risk of falling and worsen cognitive impairment. The Drug Burden Index (DBI) is a measure of the burden of anticholinergic and sedative medications. Medication reviews are typically done by a pharmacist in collaboration with a general practitioner to optimise the medication use and reduce these adverse drug events. We will evaluate whether a Multidisciplinary Multistep Medication Review (3MR) is an effective intervention to reduce a patient's DBI. METHODS:A randomised controlled trial including 160 patients from 15 community pharmacies will be conducted. Per pharmacy, 1 pharmacist will perform a structured 3MR in close collaboration with the general practitioner, including the objective to reduce the DBI. ANALYSIS:Primary outcome--the difference in proportion of patients having a decrease in DBI ? 0.5 in the intervention and control groups at follow-up. Secondary outcomes--anticholinergic and sedative side effects, falls, cognitive function, activities of daily living, quality of life, hospital admission, and mortality. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:The burden of patients will be kept at a minimum. The 3MR can be considered as usual care by the pharmacist and general practitioner. Medical specialists will be consulted, if necessary. The intervention is specifically aimed at older community-dwelling patients in an attempt to optimise prescribing, in particular, to reduce medication with anticholinergic and sedative properties. Study results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and will be distributed through information channels targeting professionals. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:NCT02317666; Pre-results.
Project description:To evaluate concordance of five commonly used anticholinergic scales.Cross-sectional secondary analysis.Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Memphis, Tennessee.Community-dwelling adults aged 70 to 79 with baseline medication data from the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study (N = 3,055).Any anticholinergic use, weighted scores, and total standardized daily dosage were calculated using five anticholinergic measures (Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden (ACB) Scale, Anticholinergic Drug Scale (ADS), Anticholinergic Risk Scale (ARS), Drug Burden Index anticholinergic component (DBI-ACh), and Summated Anticholinergic Medications Scale (SAMS)). Concordance was evaluated using kappa statistics and Spearman rank correlations.Any anticholinergic use in rank order was 51% for the ACB, 43% for the ADS, 29% for the DBI-ACh, 23% for the ARS, and 16% for the SAMS. Kappa statistics for all pairwise use comparisons ranged from 0.33 to 0.68. Similarly, concordance as measured using weighted kappa statistics ranged from 0.54 to 0.70 for the three scales not incorporating dosage (ADS, ARS, ACB). Spearman rank correlation between the DBI-ACh and SAMS was 0.50.Only low to moderate concordance was found between the five anticholinergic scales. Future research is needed to examine how these differences in measurement affect their predictive validity with respect to clinically relevant outcomes, such as cognitive impairment.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To estimate the association between cumulative anticholinergic burden and falls and fractures in patients with overactive bladder (OAB). DESIGN:A retrospective claims-based study (2007-2015) of patients with OAB; outcomes from a subset were contrasted to a non-OAB comparison. SETTING:United States, commercially and Medicare-insured population. PARTICIPANTS:154 432 adults with OAB and 86 966 adults without OAB, mean age of 56 years, and 67.9% women. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Cumulative anticholinergic burden, a unitless value representing exposure over time, was estimated over the 12 months pre-index ('at baseline') and every 6 months post index. Burden was categorised as no burden (0), low burden (1-89), medium burden (90-499) or high burden (500+). Unadjusted rates of falls or fractures were estimated, and the increased risk associated with anticholinergic burden (measured at the closest 6-month interval prior to a fall or fracture) was assessed using a Cox proportional hazards model and a marginal structural model. RESULTS:Median (IQR) baseline anticholinergic burden was 30 (0.0-314.0) and higher among older (≥65 years, 183 [3.0-713.0]) versus younger (<65 years, 13 [0.0-200.0]) adults. The unadjusted rate of falls or fractures over the period was 5.0 per 100 patient-years, ranging from 3.1 (95% CI 3.0-3.2) for those with no burden, to 7.4 (95% CI 7.1-7.6) for those with high burden at baseline. The adjusted risk of falls and fractures was greater with higher anticholinergic burden in the previous 6 months, with an HR of 1.2 (95% CI 1.2 to 1.3) for low burden versus no burden, to 1.4 (95% CI 1.3 to 1.4) for high versus no burden. Estimates from marginal structural models adjusting for time-varying covariates were lower but remained significantly higher with a higher anticholinergic burden. Rates of falls and fractures were approximately 40% higher among those with OAB (vs those without). CONCLUSION:Higher levels of anticholinergic burden are associated with higher rates of falls and fractures, highlighting the importance of considering anticholinergic burden when treating patients with OAB.