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Grantee in the News: Malaz Boustani studies common OTC drugs & increased ER visits for older adults

Jan 3

Grantee in the News: Malaz Boustani studies common OTC drugs & increased ER visits for older adults View MoreBACK  recently reported on a study co-authored by two-time AFAR grant recipient, Malaz Boustani, MD, MPH, published in the peer-reviewed journal Pharmacotherapy

The study has finds that anticholinergic medications, a class of drugs very commonly used by older adults, are linked to an increased rate of emergency department and hospital utilization in the United States.

As Medical Express reports:

Drugs with anticholinergic properties are frequently prescribed or purchased over the counter for chronic conditions including depression, anxiety, pain, allergy, incontinence or sleep problems. These drugs are used by as many as half of older adults and it is not unusual for an older individual to be taking two or more anticholinergic medications regularly.

This study builds off the Anti-Cholinergic Burden Scale, one of the most widely used tools to pinpoint the anticholinergic properties and anticholinergic load of specific drugs, which Boustani developed in 2008.

Boustani elaborates in MedicalExpress: "As baby boomers age and the number of older adults increases, it is especially important to recognize the negative impact of anticholinergic medications on the aging brain and healthcare delivery cost...There is a powerful association between these harmful medications and potentially avoidable cognitive impairment and increased visits to the doctor, the ER and the hospital."

Read the full article here.

Malaz Boustani, MD, MPH, is a Professor of Medicine and Center Scientist at the Indiana University Center for Aging Research, an Investigator at Regenstrief Institute, Inc., Chief Research Officer at Indianapolis Discovery Network for Dementia, and the Research Director for the Healthy Aging Brain Center.

Learn more about Dr. Boustani’s work through his Ask the Expert interview on our InfoAging, here: