Table 1

Total number of medications taken at admission, started during hospitalisation and prescribed at discharge among hospitalised elderly patients according to their primary diagnosis for admission

Primary diagnosis for admissionNumber of medications, median (IQR)
At admissionNewly started*At dischargeP values†
Total, n=6895.0 (3.0–8.0)1.0 (0.0–2.0)4.0 (2.0–5.0)<0.001
Heart failure, n=1536.0 (3.0–8.0)2.0 (1.0–3.0)5.0 (3.0–6.0)<0.001
Pneumonia, n=1415.0 (3.0–7.0)0.0 (0.0–1.0)3.0 (1.0–5.0)<0.001
Ischaemic stroke, n=1085.0 (2.5–7.0)1.0 (1.0–2.0)3.0 (1.0–5.0)<0.001
GI bleeding, n=715.0 (3.0–7.0)1.0 (0.0–2.0)2.0 (1.0–4.0)<0.001
UTI, n=585.0 (2.0–7.0)0.0 (0.0–1.0)2.0 (1.0–4.0)<0.001
COPD or asthma, n=577.0 (5.0–9.0)1.0 (0.0–2.0)5.0 (3.0–7.0)<0.001
ACS, n=564.5 (1.5–7.0)4.0 (3.0–6.0)6.0 (5.0–8.0)<0.001
Epilepsy, n=455.0 (3.0–8.0)1.0 (0.0–2.0)2.0 (1.0–4.0)<0.001
  • *Defined as medications that were not prescribed at admission but were prescribed at discharge.

  • †Comparison of the number of medications at admission and at discharge using a two-tailed paired t-test.

  • ACS, acute coronary syndrome; COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; GI, gastrointestinal; UTI, urinary tract infection.