Prescription pain, insomnia use increase risk for frailty in older US adults

  • Cil G & al.
  • J Am Geriatr Soc
  • 24.10.2019

  • von Kelli Whitlock Burton
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • The incidence of frailty was significantly higher among US adults aged ≥65 years who use or co-use prescription medications for pain and/or insomnia.
  • Nearly 80% of those who used both prescription medications for pain and insomnia met the criteria for frailty compared with just 30% of nonusers.

Why this matters

  • Frailty is independently associated with loss of independence, increased use of healthcare resources, and mortality.

Study design

  • 7201 nonfrail individuals from the Health and Retirement Study cohort (age, ≥65 years) with self-reported prescription drug use for pain and sleep.
  • Funding: National Institute on Aging.

Key results

  • 37.8% of individuals became frail during the study period.
  • Cumulative incidence of frailty at 8 years in individuals with prescription drug use for pain and sleep, 60.6%; drug use for pain only, 50.9%; drug use for sleep only, 45.8%; and no drug use, 34.1%.
  • Prevalence of frailty by prescription drug use: co-use, 78.8%; drug use for pain only, 58.5%; drug use for sleep only, 47.6%, and no drug use, 29.9%.

Limitations

  • Observational study.

Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm