Trends in adverse drug reaction-related hospitalisations over 13 years in New South Wales, Australia




Zhang, Hanwen
Du, Wei
Gnjidic, Danijela
Chong, Shanley
Glasgow, Nicholas

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Blackwell Science Asia


Background Adverse drug reactions (ADR) are severe problems in global public health, and result in high mortality and morbidity. Various trends of ADR‐related hospitalisations have been studied in many countries, while estimates of the trends in Australia are limited. Aim To examine trends in ADR‐related hospitalisations in New South Wales (NSW). Methods Data were extracted from the Admitted Patient Data Collection, a census of hospital separations in NSW. We estimated age‐adjusted rates of ADR‐related hospitalisation between 1 July 2001 and 30 June 2014 and rates by patient characteristics, main therapeutic medication groups and clinical condition groups that warranted the hospitalisation. We used the percentage change annualised estimator to evaluate rates over time. Results A total of 315 274 NSW residents admitted for urgent care of ADR was identified. The age‐adjusted rates of ADR‐related hospitalisations nearly doubled and increased by 5.8% (95% CI: 5.0–6.6%) per annum, with an in‐hospital death rate increase of 2.4% (1.6–3.3%). Agranulocytosis (2.7%), nausea and vomiting (2.4%) and heart failure (2.4%) were the most common conditions that led to ADR‐related hospitalisations over 13 years, with acute renal failure (1.4%) recently emerging as the leading adverse condition. Participants aged between 65 and 84 years accounted for nearly half of ADR hospitalisations (45.6%), with age‐adjusted rate increasing from 103.9 in 2001–2002 to 189.0 per 100 000 NSW residents in 2013–2014. Anticoagulants (13.5%) were the most common medications contributing to ADR‐related hospitalisation, followed by opioid analgesics (9.6%). Conclusion ADR‐related hospitalisation remains a population health burden, with significant increase over time. The findings call for continuing efforts to prevent ADR, especially among high‐risk populations, such as older people.



adverse drug event, hospital admission, incidence surveillance



Internal Medicine Journal


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