Recommendations to Prescribe in Complex Older Adults: Results of the CRIteria to Assess Appropriate Medication Use Among Elderly Complex Patients (CRIME) Project

Abstract

The occurrence of several geriatric conditions may influence the efficacy and limit the use of drugs prescribed to treat chronic conditions. Functional and cognitive impairment, geriatric syndromes (i.e. falls or malnutrition) and limited life expectancy are common features of old age, which may limit the efficacy of pharmacological treatments and question the appropriateness of treatment. However, the assessment of these geriatric conditions is rarely incorporated into clinical trials and treatment guidelines. The CRIME (CRIteria to assess appropriate Medication use among Elderly complex patients) project is aimed at producing recommendations to guide pharmacologic prescription in older complex patients with a limited life expectancy, functional and cognitive impairment, and geriatric syndromes, and providing physicians with a tool to improve the quality of prescribing, independent of setting and nationality. To achieve these aims, we performed the following: (i) Existing disease-specific guidelines on pharmacological prescription for the treatment of diabetes, hypertension, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation and coronary heart disease were reviewed to assess whether they include specific indications for complex patients; (ii) a literature search was performed to identify relevant articles assessing the pharmacological treatment of complex patients; (iii) A total of 19 new recommendations were developed based on the results of the literature search and expert consensus. In conclusion, the new recommendations evaluate the appropriateness of pharmacological prescription in older complex patients, translating the recommendations of clinical guidelines to patients with a limited life expectancy, functional and cognitive impairment, and geriatric syndromes. These recommendations cannot represent substitutes for careful clinical consideration and deliberation by physicians; the recommendations are not meant to replace existing clinical guidelines, but they may be used to help physicians in the prescribing process.

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Acknowledgments

The CRIME project was funded by a grant from the Italian Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Policy (Bando Giovani Ricercatori 2007, convenzione no. 4). The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to this review.

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Correspondence to Graziano Onder.

Appendices

Appendix 1: List of Guidelines Examined

Heart Failure

Hunt SA, Abraham WT, Chin MH, Feldman AM, Francis GS, Ganiats TG, Jessup M, Konstam MA, Mancini DM, Michl K, Oates JA, Rahko PS, Silver MA, Stevenson LW, Yancy CW; American College of Cardiology Foundation; American Heart Association. 2009 Focused update incorporated into the ACC/AHA 2005 guidelines for the diagnosis and management of heart failure in adults. A report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines Developed in Collaboration With the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. J Am Coll Cardiol 2009 Apr 14;53(15):e1–e90.

McMurray JJ, Adamopoulos S, Anker SD, Auricchio A, Böhm M, Dickstein K, Falk V, Filippatos G, Fonseca C, Gomez-Sanchez MA, Jaarsma T, Køber L, Lip GY, Maggioni AP, Parkhomenko A, Pieske BM, Popescu BA, Rønnevik PK, Rutten FH, Schwitter J, Seferovic P, Stepinska J, Trindade PT, Voors AA, Zannad F, Zeiher A; ESC Committee for Practice Guidelines. ESC guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure 2012: The Task Force for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Acute and Chronic Heart Failure 2012 of the European Society of Cardiology. Developed in collaboration with the Heart Failure Association (HFA) of the ESC. Eur Heart J 2012 Jul;33(14):1787–847.

Hypertension

Chobanian AV, Bakris GL, Black HR, Cushman WC, Green LA, Izzo JL Jr, Jones DW, Materson BJ, Oparil S, Wright JT Jr, Roccella EJ; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure; National High Blood Pressure Education Program Coordinating Committee. The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure: the JNC 7 report. JAMA 2003 May 21;289(19):2560–72.

Mancia G, De Backer G, Dominiczak A, Cifkova R, Fagard R, Germano G, Grassi G, Heagerty AM, Kjeldsen SE, Laurent S, Narkiewicz K, Ruilope L, Rynkiewicz A, Schmieder RE, Boudier HA, Zanchetti A, Vahanian A, Camm J, De Caterina R, Dean V, Dickstein K, Filippatos G, Funck-Brentano C, Hellemans I, Kristensen SD, McGregor K, Sechtem U, Silber S, Tendera M, Widimsky P, Zamorano JL, Erdine S, Kiowski W, Agabiti-Rosei E, Ambrosioni E, Lindholm LH, Viigimaa M, Adamopoulos S, Agabiti-Rosei E, Ambrosioni E, Bertomeu V, Clement D, Erdine S, Farsang C, Gaita D, Lip G, Mallion JM, Manolis AJ, Nilsson PM, O’Brien E, Ponikowski P, Redon J, Ruschitzka F, Tamargo J, van Zwieten P, Waeber B, Williams B; Management of Arterial Hypertension of the European Society of Hypertension; European Society of Cardiology. 2007 guidelines for the management of arterial hypertension: The Task Force for the Management of Arterial Hypertension of the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) and of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). J Hypertens 2007 Jun;25(6):1105–87.

Atrial Fibrillation

Fuster V, Rydén LE, Cannom DS, Crijns HJ, Curtis AB, Ellenbogen KA, Halperin JL, Kay GN, Le Huezey JY, Lowe JE, Olsson SB, Prystowsky EN, Tamargo JL, Wann LS. 2011 ACCF/AHA/HRS focused updates incorporated into the ACC/AHA/ESC 2006 guidelines for the management of patients with atrial fibrillation: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines developed in partnership with the European Society of Cardiology and in collaboration with the European Heart Rhythm Association and the Heart Rhythm Society. J Am Coll Cardiol 2011 Mar 15;57(11):e101–98.

European Heart Rhythm Association; European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, Camm AJ, Kirchhof P, Lip GY, Schotten U, Savelieva I, Ernst S, Van Gelder IC, Al-Attar N, Hindricks G, Prendergast B, Heidbuchel H, Alfieri O, Angelini A, Atar D, Colonna P, De Caterina R, De Sutter J, Goette A, Gorenek B, Heldal M, Hohloser SH, Kolh P, Le Heuzey JY, Ponikowski P, Rutten FH. Guidelines for the management of atrial fibrillation: the Task Force for the Management of Atrial Fibrillation of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Eur Heart J 2010 Oct;31(19):2369–429.

Coronary Artery Disease

Fihn SD, Gardin JM, Abrams J, Berra K, Blankenship JC, Dallas AP, Douglas PS, Foody JM, Gerber TC, Hinderliter AL, King SB 3rd, Kligfield PD, Krumholz HM, Kwong RY, Lim MJ, Linderbaum JA, Mack MJ, Munger MA, Prager RL, Sabik JF, Shaw LJ, Sikkema JD, Smith CR Jr, Smith SC Jr, Spertus JA, Williams SV; American College of Cardiology Foundation. 2012 ACCF/AHA/ACP/AATS/PCNA/SCAI/STS guideline for the diagnosis and management of patients with stable ischemic heart disease: executive summary: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association task force on practice guidelines, and the American College of Physicians, American Association for Thoracic Surgery, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, and Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Circulation 2012 Dec 18;126(25):3097–137.

Fox K, Garcia MA, Ardissino D, Buszman P, Camici PG, Crea F, Daly C, De Backer G, Hjemdahl P, Lopez-Sendon J, Marco J, Morais J, Pepper J, Sechtem U, Simoons M, Thygesen K, Priori SG, Blanc JJ, Budaj A, Camm J, Dean V, Deckers J, Dickstein K,Lekakis J, McGregor K, Metra M, Morais J, Osterspey A, Tamargo J, Zamorano JL; Task Force on the Management of Stable Angina Pectoris of the European Society of Cardiology; ESC Committee for Practice Guidelines (CPG). Guidelines on the management of stable angina pectoris: executive summary: The Task Force on the Management of Stable Angina Pectoris of the European Society of Cardiology. Eur Heart J 2006 Jun;27(11):1341–81.

Diabetes

American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes–2012. Diabetes Care 2012 Jan;35 Suppl 1:S11–63.

Brown AF, Mangione CM, Saliba D, Sarkisian CA; California Healthcare Foundation/American Geriatrics Society Panel on Improving Care for Elders with Diabetes. Guidelines for improving the care of the older person with diabetes mellitus. J Am Geriatr Soc 2003 May;51(5 Suppl Guidelines):S265–80.

Appendix 2: Names and Affiliations of Experts

Name Affiliation Country
Antonio Cherubini University of Perugia Italy
Stefano Volpato University of Ferrara Italy
Andrea Corsonello Italian National Research Center on Aging (INRCA) Italy
Eva Topinkova Prague University Czech Republic
Mirko Petrovic Ghent University Belgium
Tischa Van der Cammen Erasmus Medical Center The Netherlands
Dorom Garfinkel Shoham Geriatric Medical Center Israel

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Onder, G., Landi, F., Fusco, D. et al. Recommendations to Prescribe in Complex Older Adults: Results of the CRIteria to Assess Appropriate Medication Use Among Elderly Complex Patients (CRIME) Project. Drugs Aging 31, 33–45 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40266-013-0134-4

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Keywords

  • Dementia
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Metformin
  • Orthostatic Hypotension