Falls Linked to Medication Non-adherence

BOSTON, May 21 (UPI) — Falls are one of the poor health outcomes in the elderly associated with not taking medications as followed, U.S. researchers said.

Lead author Dr. Sarah Berry of the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston and colleagues examined data for 246 male and 408 female participants — average age of 78 — taken from the Maintenance of Balance, Independent Living, Intellect and Zest in the Elderly of Boston Study. Of these 654 people, 376 reported a total of 1,052 falls between 2005 to 2008.

The researchers found seniors who answered yes to one of four medication questions were at 50 percent greater risk of falls than those answering no.

The medication questions were:

– Do you ever forget to take your medications?

– Are you careless at times about taking your medications?

– When you feel better do you sometimes stop taking your medications?

– Sometimes if you feel worse when taking your medication, do you stop taking it?

“Because non-adherence is common and easy to screen for, healthcare providers should discuss this subject with their patients,” Berry said in a statement.

The findings are published in the Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological and Medical Science.

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