Risk of Adverse Effects Lessens Drug Acceptance in Elderly

Elderly likely to accept drugs with only mild benefits, but less so with adverse effect risk

WEDNESDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- The willingness to take medication for primary cardiovascular disease prevention in older persons is highly sensitive to its adverse effects and relatively insensitive to its benefits, according to a study published online Feb. 28 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Terri R. Fried, M.D., from Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues interviewed 356 community-living older persons to measure their willingness to take medication to prevent myocardial infarction (MI) according to its benefits (absolute five-year risk reduction) and risks (type and severity of adverse effects).

The investigators found that 88 percent of the participants were willing to take medication if the benefit approximated the average risk reduction of currently available medications (absolute benefit of six fewer persons with MI out of 100). Most of these (82 percent) remained willing to continue when the absolute benefit was decreased to three fewer persons with MI. Of the unwilling participants, 17 percent indicated they would be willing to take the medication if the absolute benefit was increased to 10 fewer persons with MI. Adverse effects, such as feeling mildly tired, nausea, or cloudy thinking, caused large proportions (48 to 69 percent) of the participants to report their unwillingness or uncertainty in taking medications that have an average benefit. Only 3 percent of participants said they would take a drug with adverse effects that could impact on functioning.

"These results suggest that clinical guidelines and decisions about prescribing these medications to older persons need to place emphasis on both their benefits and harms," the authors write.

Full Text

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Blunt Chest Trauma
Journal of Trauma Nursing, November/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95

The School Age Child with Congenital Heart Disease
MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2.5 $24.95

Understanding multiple myeloma
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2 $21.95

More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles

Comprehensive Care: Looking Beyond the Presenting Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2015
Free access will expire on March 2, 2015.

Pain and Alzheimer dementia: A largely unrecognized problem
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

Glycemic control in hospitalized patients
Nursing2015 Critical Care, January 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events