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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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.
Appendix 1: List of Guidelines Examined
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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
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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.
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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
|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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