The association of polypharmacy and high-risk drug classes with adverse health outcomes in the Scottish population with type 1 diabetes

Höhn, A. et al. (2021) The association of polypharmacy and high-risk drug classes with adverse health outcomes in the Scottish population with type 1 diabetes. Diabetologia, 64, pp. 1309-1319. (doi: 10.1007/s00125-021-05394-7) (PMID:33608768) (PMCID:PMC8099818)

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Abstract

Aims/hypothesis: The aim of this work was to map the number of prescribed drugs over age, sex and area-based socioeconomic deprivation, and to examine the association between the number of drugs and particular high-risk drug classes with adverse health outcomes among a national cohort of individuals with type 1 diabetes. Methods: Utilising linked healthcare records from the population-based diabetes register of Scotland, we identified 28,245 individuals with a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes on 1 January 2017. For this population, we obtained information on health status, predominantly reflecting diabetes-related complications, and information on the total number of drugs and particular high-risk drug classes prescribed. We then studied the association of these baseline-level features with hospital admissions for falls, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), and hypoglycaemia or death within the subsequent year using multivariate Cox proportional hazards models. Results: Not considering insulin and treatment for hypoglycaemia, the mean number of prescribed drugs was 4.00 (SD 4.35). The proportion of individuals being prescribed five or more drugs at baseline consistently increased with age (proportion [95% CI]: 0–19 years 2.04% [1.60, 2.49]; 40–49 years 28.50% [27.08, 29.93]; 80+ years 76.04% [67.73, 84.84]). Controlling for age, sex, area-based socioeconomic deprivation and health status, each additional drug at baseline was associated with an increase in the hazard for hospitalisation for falls, hypoglycaemia and death but not for DKA admissions (HR [95% CI]: falls 1.03 [1.01, 1.06]; DKA 1.01 [1.00, 1.03]; hypoglycaemia 1.05 [1.02, 1.07]; death 1.04 [1.02, 1.06]). We found a number of drug classes to be associated with an increased hazard of one or more of these adverse health outcomes, including antithrombotic/anticoagulant agents, corticosteroids, opioids, antiepileptics, antipsychotics, hypnotics and sedatives, and antidepressants. Conclusions: Polypharmacy is common among the Scottish population with type 1 diabetes and is strongly patterned by sociodemographic factors. The number of prescribed drugs and the prescription of particular high-risk drug classes are strong markers of an increased risk of adverse health outcomes, including acute complications of diabetes.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: This study was supported by funding from the Diabetes UK (17/0005627).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lindsay, Dr Robert and Kennon, Dr Brian and Hoehn, Dr Andreas and Sattar, Professor Naveed
Authors: Höhn, A., Jeyam, A., Caparrotta, T. M., McGurnaghan, S. J., O’Reilly, J. E., Blackbourn, L. A. K., McCrimmon, R. J., Leese, G. P., McKnight, J. A., Kennon, B., Lindsay, R. S., Sattar, N., Wild, S. H., McKeigue, P. M., and Colhoun, H. M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cardiovascular & Metabolic Health
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Diabetologia
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0012-186X
ISSN (Online):1432-0428
Published Online:19 February 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s) 2021
First Published:First published in Diabetologia 64: 1309-1319
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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