In response to the letter of Zuccala et al about our study of the risk of adverse drug events (ADEs) in hospitalized patients,1 we came to this area with the same prior hypotheses of Zuccala's group—namely, that old age, polypharmacy, and renal failure would be associated with the presence of ADEs. However, we were surprised to find that despite an abundance of commentary on these topics, comparatively few published empiric data are available to support the strength of these associations, especially for hospitalized patients. It is important to note that the primary goal of our study was to identify a high-risk subset of patients who could be targeted for extra scrutiny to decrease their risk of ADEs.
Bates DW, Cullen DJ, Leape LL. Adverse Drug Reactions in the Elderly: Need for Dedicated Databases—Reply. Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(11):1701. doi: