Prevalence of Polypharmacy Exposure Among Hospitalized Children in the United States

Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 34th and Civic Center Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 10104, USA.
JAMA Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 5.73). 09/2011; 166(1):9-16. DOI: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.161
Source: PubMed


To assess the prevalence and patterns of exposure to drugs and therapeutic agents among hospitalized pediatric patients.
Retrospective cohort study.
A total of 411 general hospitals and 52 children's hospitals throughout the United States.
A total of 587 427 patients younger than 18 years, excluding healthy newborns, hospitalized in 2006, representing one-fifth of all pediatric admissions in the United States.
Daily and cumulative exposure to drugs and therapeutic agents.
The most common exposures varied by patient age and by hospital type, with acetaminophen, albuterol, various antibiotics, fentanyl, heparin, ibuprofen, morphine, ondansetron, propofol, and ranitidine being among the most prevalent exposures. A considerable fraction of patients were exposed to numerous medications: in children's hospitals, on the first day of hospitalization, patients younger than 1 year at the 90th percentile of daily exposure to distinct medications received 11 drugs, and patients 1 year or older received 13 drugs; in general hospitals, 8 and 12 drugs, respectively. By hospital day 7, in children's hospitals, patients younger than 1 year at the 90th percentile of cumulative exposure to distinct distinct medications had received 29 drugs, and patients 1 year or older had received 35; in general hospitals, 22 and 28 drugs, respectively. Patients with less common conditions were more likely to be exposed to more drugs (P = .001).
A large fraction of hospitalized pediatric patients are exposed to substantial polypharmacy, especially patients with rare conditions.

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    • "A recent study representing one-fifth of all pediatric hospital admissions in the U.S., identified paracetamol as the most common drug administered to children over one year of age and the second most common drug administered for those under one year; more than 40% of hospital stays in both groups include paracetamol [65]. Hospitalization of children and neonates for infection as well as non-infectious disease have been associated with increased risk of ASD in a large Danish cohort (hazard ratios 1.38 (95% CI: 1.31 to 1.43) and 1.76 (95% CI: 1.68 to 1.86), respectively) [66]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are complex neurodevelopmental disorders. Susceptibility is believed to be the interaction of genetic heritability and environmental factors. The synchronous rises in autism/ASD prevalence and paracetamol (acetaminophen) use, as well as biologic plausibility have led to the hypothesis that paracetamol exposure may increase autism/ASD risk. Methods To explore the relationship of antenatal paracetamol exposure to ASD, population weighted average autism prevalence rates and paracetamol usage rates were compared. To explore the relationship of early neonatal paracetamol exposure to autism/ASD, population weighted average male autism prevalence rates for all available countries and U.S. states were compared to male circumcision rates – a procedure for which paracetamol has been widely prescribed since the mid-1990s. Prevalence studies were extracted from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Summary of Autism/ASD Prevalence Studies database. Maternal paracetamol usage and circumcision rates were identified by searches on Pub Med. Results Using all available country-level data (n = 8) for the period 1984 to 2005, prenatal use of paracetamol was correlated with autism/ASD prevalence (r = 0.80). For studies including boys born after 1995, there was a strong correlation between country-level (n = 9) autism/ASD prevalence in males and a country’s circumcision rate (r = 0.98). A very similar pattern was seen among U.S. states and when comparing the 3 main racial/ethnic groups in the U.S. The country-level correlation between autism/ASD prevalence in males and paracetamol was considerably weaker before 1995 when the drug became widely used during circumcision. Conclusions This ecological analysis identified country-level correlations between indicators of prenatal and perinatal paracetamol exposure and autism/ASD. State level correlation was also identified for the indicator of perinatal paracetamol exposure and autism/ASD. Like all ecological analyses, these data cannot provide strong evidence of causality. However, biologic plausibility is provided by a growing body of experimental and clinical evidence linking paracetamol metabolism to pathways shown to be important in autism and related developmental abnormalities. Taken together, these ecological findings and mechanistic evidence suggest the need for formal study of the role of paracetamol in autism.
    Environmental Health 05/2013; 12(1):41. DOI:10.1186/1476-069X-12-41 · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    JAMA Pediatrics 09/2011; 166(1):91-2. DOI:10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.162 · 5.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Polypharmacy and drug-related problems (DRPs) have been shown to prevail in hospitalized patients. We evaluated the prevalence of polypharmacy; and investigated relationship between polypharmacy and: symptoms of DRPs, number of drugs and OTC, index of cumulative morbidity, length of exposure to polypharmacy and the number of days of hospital stay among hospitalized patients. A study was performed in Pharmacies "Eufarm Edal" Tuzla from 2010 to 2011. Polypharmacy was defined as using ≥ 3 drugs. The total study sample of 226 examiners were interviewed with special constructed questionnaires about DRPs. Experimental study group consisted of hospital patients with polypharmacy (n=166) and control group hospital patients without polypharmacy (n=60). Mann-Whitney test was used to test for significant self-reported symptom differences between groups and cross sectional subgroups, t- test and χ(2)- test for age, gender and treatment data in hospital. The prevalence of polypharmacy was 74% among 226 hospitalized patients. The vulnerable age subgroup of hospitalized patients was men and hospitalized patients aged from 46 to 50 years (not geriatric patients). The prevalence of index of cumulative morbidity was 65%. The most common exposures varied by patient age and by hospital type, with various antibiotics, antidepressants, analgesics, sedatives, antihypertensives, flixotide, ranitidine and others. The prevalence of exposure to OTC and self- treatment was 80%. The prevalence of symptoms of drug-related problems were significantly differed among patients of experimental in relationship of control study group patients (P<0.001). In addition to helping to resolve the above mentioned issues, the results from this study could provide baseline information quantifying the problem of drug- related problems among hospitalized patients receiving polypharmacy and contribute to the formulation and implementation of risk management strategies for pharmacists and physicians in primary care health.
    Materia Socio Medica 05/2012; 24(2):68-72. DOI:10.5455/msm.2012.24.68-72
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