Declining Use of Potentially Inappropriate Medication in People with Dementia from 2000 to 2015: A Repeated Cross-Sectional Nationwide Register-Based Study

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  • Rachel Underlien Kristensen, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Christina Jensen-Dahm, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Christiane Gasse
  • Gunhild Waldemar, University of Copenhagen

BACKGROUND: Studies have shown declining use of potentially inappropriate medication (PIM), medication where risks associated with use outweigh potential benefits in older people. However, the trend in people with dementia remains unknown.

OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that the use of PIM has decreased in people with dementia in line with the declining use in the general older population.

METHODS: Repeated cross-sectional register-based study of the entire Danish population aged ≥65 years (2000: N = 802,106; 2015: N = 1,056,476). PIM was identified using the Danish "Red-yellow-green list". Changes in the use of PIM were examined by calculating the annual prevalence of filling prescriptions for at least one PIM in older people with and without dementia. Characteristics of the study population were examined annually including comorbidity.

RESULTS: From 2000 to 2015, the prevalence of PIM use decreased from 54.7%to 43.5%in people with dementia and from 39.5%to 28.8%in people without dementia; the decrease was significant across all age groups and remained so in a sensitivity analysis where antipsychotics were removed. During the same period, comorbidity scores increased in people with and without dementia.

CONCLUSION: The declining use of PIM in people with dementia from 2000 to 2015 parallels the trend in the general older population. The use of PIM decreased despite increasing levels of comorbidity and was not solely attributable to the decreasing use of antipsychotics in people with dementia. However, PIM use remained more widespread in people with dementia who may be more vulnerable to the risks associated with PIM.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Pages (from-to)1459–1470
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

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