, Volume 69, Issue 3, pp 657-664
Date: 14 Aug 2012

Potentially inappropriate drug use among older persons in Finland: application of a new national categorization

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The Finnish Medicines Agency published a new consensus categorization for potentially inappropriate drug (PID) use among persons aged 75 years and older (A = suitable, B = limited evidence, C = suitable for use under certain conditions only, D = inappropriate) in 2010. We investigated factors associated with use of one or more Category D drugs.


Cross-sectional analyses were conducted using baseline data from the Geriatric Multidisciplinary Strategy for the Good Care of the Elderly (GeMS) Study collected in Kuopio, Finland, in 2004. From a random sample of 1000 persons aged 75 years and older, 781 persons provided consent to participate. Logistic regression was used to compute unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95 % confidence intervals (95 % CIs) for factors associated with PID use.


PIDs were used by 30 % (n = 234) of all participants on a regular or as-needed basis. Among the 764 persons (98 %) who used prescription or non-prescription drugs, PID use was associated with the number of drugs in use (adjusted OR 1.20; 95 % CI 1.13–1.28) and moderate self-rated health compared to good self-rated health (adjusted OR 1.74; 95 % CI 1.19–2.55). PID use was associated with poor maximum walking speed (adjusted OR 1.64; 95 % CI 1.10–2.45), poor Timed Up and Go (TUG) test scores (adjusted OR 1.66; 95 % CI 1.11–2.47), impaired instrumental activities of daily living (adjusted OR 1.50; 95 % CI 1.06–2.12) and Mini Mental State Examination scores <18 (adjusted OR 2.27; 95 % CI 1.41–3.65).


PID use was highly prevalent and associated with impaired functional outcomes. This highlights the importance of clinicians conducting regular reviews of drug therapy.