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Pneumonia following antipsychotic prescriptions in electronic health records: a patient safety concern?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences.
2010 (English)In: British Journal of General Practice, ISSN 0960-1643, Vol. 60, no 579, 749-755 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background In screening the Intercontinental Medical Statistics (IMS) Health Disease Analyzer database of GP records from the UK, an increased registration of pneumonia subsequent to the prescription of some antipsychotic medicines was identified. Aim To investigate the temporal pattern between antipsychotic prescriptions and pneumonia with respect to age, type of pneumonia and other chest infections, and antipsychotic class. Design of study Self-controlled cohort analysis. Setting Electronic health records from the UK IMS Health Disease Analyzer database. Method Three groups of pneumonia-related International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 terms and prescriptions of atypical and conventional antipsychotic medicines were studied. Separate analyses were carried out for patients aged >= 65 years. The observed rate of pneumonia terms registered in different time periods in connection to antipsychotic prescriptions was contrasted to the overall rate of pneumonia terms relative to prescriptions of other drugs in the same dataset. Results In patients aged >= 65 years, an increased registration of a group of terms defined as 'acute chest infections', after atypical antipsychotic prescriptions, was identified. The corresponding increase after conventional antipsychotic prescriptions was much smaller. Bronchopneumonia had a striking increase after both atypical and conventional antipsychotic prescriptions, and was commonly recorded with fatal outcome. Few registrations of hypostatic. pneumonia were noted. Patients aged <65 years did not have a higher rate of acute chest infections after receiving antipsychotic prescriptions. Conclusion The consistent pattern of an increased rate of chest infections after atypical antipsychotic prescriptions in older people seen in this outpatient study, together with the higher risk shown in a previous study on hospitalised patients, suggests a causal relationship. This is of importance since bronchopneumonia seems highly linked to fatal outcome. In the absence of a mechanism, further investigation of the role of antipsychotics in older people is needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 60, no 579, 749-755 p.
Keyword [en]
aged, antipsychotic agents, computerised medical records systems, pneumonia
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-135367DOI: 10.3399/bjgp10X532396ISI: 000284131300008PubMedID: 20883613OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-135367DiVA: diva2:375014
Available from: 2010-12-07 Created: 2010-12-06 Last updated: 2011-01-03Bibliographically approved

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