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Received date : 20-02-2022 Revised date : 08-03-2022 Accepted date : 12-03-2022 Published date : 31-03-2022

Mediterr J Pharm Pharm Sci 2 (1): 55-64, 2022

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6399521

Original Research

Prevalence of comorbidity and polypharmacy among hospitalized elderly patients

Mustafa A. Alssageer*, Esraa S. Mohammed, Soaad A. Abd-Alsalm

Aging seldom comes alone and it is considered to be the major factor for many diseases and
comorbidities and disabilities. The objectives of the study are to examine demographic characteristics and
prevalence of comorbidities and polypharmacy of elderly patients who were admitted at Sebha Medical Center
according to the selected period. This study is descriptive and retrospective cross-sectional study conducted in
Sebha during 2021. From 195 participants of the study, the highest rate of patients was from the age group of 65
- 74 years which accounted for 86 participants (44%) and followed by those age group of 75 - 84 years which
was reported by 65 participants (33%). The majority of elderly patients have hypertension, (n = 116, 59%) and
over one-third of the patients (n = 73, 37%) have diabetes mellitus while nearly one-quarter of patients have both
diseases at the same time (n = 47, 24%). Nearly, three-quarters of patients have electrolytes imbalance (n = 142,
72%). Nearly, two-thirds of the patients had three to five comorbidity diseases (n = 122, 63%). Whereas, over
one-third of the patients had just one or two comorbidities (n = 70, 36%). Almost all the participants have
polypharmacy (n = 187, 96%). Just above half of the patients have five - ten medications (n = 100, 51%) compared
with 45% of the patients from those who have more than ten medications (n = 87). This study showed that there
is a strong relationship between the prevalence of polypharmacy and the number of comorbidities. A Spearman
correlation test indicated that rate of comorbidities was related to polypharmacy with a significant correlation (P
< 0.01). The present study found high prevalence of comorbidities and polypharmacy among elderly inpatients.
Based on this high prevalence, practicing pharmaceutical care could play an effective role to reduce the risk of
inappropriate polypharmacy among hospitalized elderly patients through encouraging clinical pharmacist to
engage in clinical activities in hospitals.
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