Tuesday, July 31, 2012
By: Daniel C. Mizzi
[NaturalNews] Adverse drug reactions are ranked as the fifth leading cause of death causing more than 100,000 deaths/year, account for seven percent of all hospitalizations and costs over $100 billion annually in the United States. While within the elderly population (age 65 and above), adverse drug reactions are even more widespread with some studies showing the elderly are two to four times more likely to be hospitalized for adverse drug events than non-elderly. In addition, some estimates show up to 30 percent of all hospital admissions involving the elderly are due to some sort of drug-related problem (especially if they are in poor health and are taking multiple medications).
Age-related changes in elderly often can lead to adverse drug reactions
As we get older, our body composition changes which essentially reduces our body’s size (due to less body water, less body weight, more body fat, fewer protein stores, etc.) which in effect increases the amount of drug exposure per body weight. The elderly also have less ability to clear drugs via the liver and the kidneys which may lead to drug accumulation. In addition, the elderly compared to non-elderly also have less ability to compensate and tolerate drug side effects. Thus, all these factors may contribute to causing adverse drug reactions in the elderly.