Association Between Functional Impairment and Medication Burden in Adults with Heart Failure.

TitleAssociation Between Functional Impairment and Medication Burden in Adults with Heart Failure.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsGoyal P, Bryan J, Kneifati-Hayek J, Sterling MR, Banerjee S, Maurer MS, Lachs MS, Safford MM
JournalJ Am Geriatr Soc
Date Published2019 Feb

OBJECTIVES: To determine whether the number of medications taken by adults with heart failure (HF) and impairment in activities of daily living (ADL)-a subpopulation in whom the risks of a high medication burden may outweigh the benefits-differs from the number taken by those without impairment in ADLs.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional.

SETTING: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES; 2003-2014), a cross-sectional survey that produces national estimates of adults in the United States.

PARTICIPANTS: Adults aged 50 and older (mean 70) with self-reported HF (N= 947; representing 4.6 million adults with HF in the United States.

MEASURMENTS: We assessed ADL impairment and medication count based on self-report. ADL impairment was defined as having difficulty with or being unable to dress, feed oneself, or get in and out of bed. To determine the independent association between ADL impairment and medication count, we performed sequential Poisson multivariable regression analyses. All analyses were cross-sectional in nature and accounted for the complex survey design of NHANES.

RESULTS: Mean medication count was 7.2, and 74% of participants were taking 5 or more medications (polypharmacy). In a multivariable model, ADL impairment was not independently associated with medication count. These findings were similar for those with 3 or more hospitalizations in the prior year, declining health status, and cognitive impairment.

CONCLUSION: After adjusting for confounders including comorbidity, we found that adults with HF and ADL impairment take as many medications as those without ADL impairment. This suggests that providers may not sufficiently consider functional impairment when prescribing medications to adults with HF and thus may unnecessarily expose individuals to risk of adverse outcomes. J Am Geriatr Soc 67:284-291, 2019.

Alternate JournalJ Am Geriatr Soc
PubMed ID30488944
Grant ListR03 AG056446 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R03AG056446 / / National Institute on Aging /
Faculty Publication