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Comment & Response
April 2014

Optimizing the Impact of Drugs on Symptom Burden in Older People With Multimorbidity at the End of Life

Author Affiliations
  • 1Faculty of Pharmacy and Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
  • 2Royal North Shore Hospital, Kolling Institute of Medical Research and Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(4):636-637. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.12875

To the Editor We commend Chaudhry et al1 on their excellent article that reported high prevalence of symptoms that negatively affect functioning and quality of life in a cohort of older community-dwelling people with multimorbidity and a life expectancy of less than 1 year.

In older people, mulitimorbidity often coexists with polypharmacy, commonly defined as the use of 5 or more drugs. In her Invited Commentary, Ritchie2 highlights that pharmacological treatment of 1 symptom may exacerbate another or a coexisting condition, which may in part explain the increase in symptoms in this population.

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