The aim of this study was to explore the interaction between alcoholism and polypharmacy on the risk of falls in the elderly in Taiwan. A data set of 1 million randomly sampled National Health Insurance claims in Taiwan was used in our analysis, from which 3482 new cases of falls in 2000-2008 and 13928 randomly selected controls without falls, both aged ≥ 65 years, were identified for a case-control study. Polypharmacy was defined as the average daily use of five or more prescribed drugs. Relative risks were estimated by adjusted odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) using a multivariate logistic regression analysis.In comparison with participants using one or no drugs without alcoholism, the OR increased from 1.15 (95% CI 1.01-1.32) for those using two to four drugs without alcoholism, to 1.27 (95% CI 1.10-1.47) for those using five or more drugs without alcoholism, up to 5.32 (95% CI 1.58-18.0) for those using two to four drugs with alcoholism, and as high as to 6.29 (95% CI 2.22-17.8) for those using five or more drugs with alcoholism. We conclude that polypharmacy may interact with alcoholism and further increases the risk of falls in the elderly. Copyright © 2013, Taiwan Society of Geriatric Emergency & Critical Care Medicine. Published by Elsevier Taiwan LLC. All rights reserved.
Lin, H. F., Lai, S. W., Liao, K. F., Muo, C. H., & Hsientang Hsieh, D. P. (2013). Synergistic interaction between alcoholism and polypharmacy on the risk of falls in the elderly. International Journal of Gerontology, 7(2), 122–123. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijge.2012.07.010