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JFSF Vol 7, No 2, June 2022, p.81-87

doi: 10.22540/JFSF-07-081


Original Article

The prevalence of polypharmacy and fall-risk-increasing drugs after hospital discharge for hip fracture: A retrospective study

Christiana Zidrou1, Angelo V. Vasiliadis1,2, Maria Tsatlidou1, George Charitoudis2, Anastasios Beletsiotis1

  1. 2nd Orthopaedic Department, G. Papageorgiou General Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece
  2. School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University Campus, Thessaloniki, Greece

Keywords: Elderly, Fall-risk-increasing drugs, Falls, Polypharmacy


Objectives: To evaluate the incidence of polypharmacy and the use of fall-risk-increasing drugs (FRIDs) in patients >65 years of age. Methods: 478 patients >65 years old, discharged from an Orthopaedic Department because of hip-fracture surgery, capable of walking before surgery, were included. The baseline characteristics of the patients and the total numbers of drugs and FRIDs were recorded from the electronic hospital registration system. Polypharmacy was defined as the average daily use of five or more drugs. The gender differences in drug prescriptions were calculated. Results: All the patients took medications except for eight (1.7%); 46% of the patients were taking <5 medications, while 386 (80.8%) were taking ≤3 FRIDs. The female patients were taking more drugs (5±2.7) and FRIDs (2.4±1.3) than the male ones (4.5±3 and 1.9±1.3) (both p<0.01). The average numbers of drugs and FRIDs prescribed at discharge were 4.9±2.8 and 2.3±1.3, respectively. The Barthel Index was higher for patients taking <5 drugs, while the length of hospital stay was greater for patients taking ≥5 medications. Increased age was associated with taking ≥5 medications (p<0.05). Conclusions: Polypharmacy and FRID use are prevalent among patients over 65 years old who have been hospitalized and surgically treated because of hip fractures.