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Prevalence, nature and potential preventability of adverse drug events - A population-based medical record study of 4970 adults
Nordic School of Public Health NHV, Gothenburg, Sweden and University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Nordic School of Public Health NHV, Gothenburg, Sweden and University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Drug Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Center for Diagnostics, Department of Clinical Pharmacology.
University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
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2014 (English)In: British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, ISSN 0306-5251, E-ISSN 1365-2125, Vol. 78, no 1, 170-183 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

AIMS: To estimate the 3-month prevalence of adverse drug events (ADEs), categories of ADEs, and preventable ADEs, and the preventability of ADEs among adults in Sweden. Further, to identify drug classes and organ systems associated with ADEs and estimate their seriousness.

METHODS: A random sample of 5025 adults in Swedish county council in 2008 was drawn from the Total Population Register. All their medical records in 29 inpatient care departments in three hospitals, 110 specialised outpatient clinics, and 51 primary care units were reviewed retrospectively in a stepwise manner, and complemented with register data on dispensed drugs. ADEs, including adverse drug reactions (ADRs), sub-therapeutic effects of drug therapy (STEs), drug dependence and abuse, drug intoxications from overdose, and morbidities due to drug-related untreated indication, were detected during a 3-month study period, and assessed for preventability.

RESULTS: Among included 4970 individuals, the prevalence of ADEs was 12.0% (95% confidence interval 11.1-12.9%), and preventable ADEs 5.6% (5.0-6.2%). ADRs (6.9%; 6.2-7.6%) and STEs (6.4%; 5.8-7.1%) were more prevalent than the other ADEs. Of the ADEs, 38.8% (35.8-41.9%) was preventable, varying by ADE category and seriousness. ADEs were frequently associated with nervous system and cardiovascular drugs, but the associated drugs and affected organs varied by ADE category.

CONCLUSIONS: The considerable burden of ADEs and preventable ADEs from commonly used drugs across care settings warrants large-scale efforts to redesign safer, higher quality healthcare systems. The heterogeneous nature of the ADE categories should be considered in research and clinical practice for preventing, detecting and mitigating ADEs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2014. Vol. 78, no 1, 170-183 p.
Keyword [en]
adverse drug event, medical records, medication error, pharmacoepidemiology, prevalence
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105533DOI: 10.1111/bcp.12314ISI: 000337975400017PubMedID: 24372506OAI: diva2:708150
Available from: 2014-03-26 Created: 2014-03-26 Last updated: 2014-10-02

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Jönsson, Anna KHägg, Staffan
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Division of Drug ResearchFaculty of Health SciencesDepartment of Clinical Pharmacology
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