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Editor's Correspondence
January 10, 2011

The Easiest Way to Predict Adverse Drug Reactions in Older Persons

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Area di Geriatria, Università Campus Bio-Medico, Rome, Italy.

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(1):89-95. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2010.489

In a recent issue of the Archives, Onder and colleagues1 reported findings from interesting analyses aimed at validating a novel score for assessing the risk of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in hospitalized older patients. As explained by Schneider and Campese in the accompanying Invited Commentary,2 the need for instruments helping physicians at improving the prescription of medications is a crucial priority for public health, both for the increasing use of drugs as well as for the aging population. Nevertheless, some methodological and theoretical concerns about the proposed score may exist. From the shown data, it is evident that the predictive value of the instrument mainly resides in the number of medications used by the patient. In fact, 4 of 11 points are derived from the “number of drugs” variable.

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