Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 46–54

Hospitalisations caused by adverse drug reactions (ADR): a meta-analysis of observational studies


DOI: 10.1023/A:1015570104121

Cite this article as:
Beijer, H. & de Blaey, C. Pharm World Sci (2002) 24: 46. doi:10.1023/A:1015570104121


Aim: to establish the percentage hospital admission related to adverse drug reactions (ADRs) from the data available in the literature.Method: literature search in the Medline database, meta-analysis.Results: from the literature it is revealed that a considerable part of all hospital admissions are related to adverse drug reactions. However, these data are not homogenous, i.e. larger studies display a lower percentage of ADR related hospital admission, while smaller studies display a higher percentage. Subgroup analysis showed that for elderly people the odds of being hospitalised by ADR related problems is 4 times higher than for younger ones (16.6% vs. 4.1%). A considerable part of these hospitalisations can be prevented. Subgroup analysis revealed that in the elderly up to 88% of the ADR related hospitalisations are preventable; for the non-elderly this is only 24%. Comparatively more elderly people are hospitalised than younger ones. Combining these findings, twice as much elderly people are hospitalised by ADR related problems than non-elderly, while preventability of ADR related hospitalisation might yield 7 times more people in the elderly than in the non-elderly. The estimation of the costs of ADR related hospitalisations in the Health Care system in The Netherlands is discussed.Conclusion: many elderly people are hospitalised by ADR related problems; an important part of these hospitalisations can be avoided.

ADR related hospital admission Elderly Heterogeneity Hospital admission Meta-analysis 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scientific Institute Dutch Pharmacists (WINAp)The HagueThe Netherlands

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