The number of comorbidities a patient has can increase the patient’s risk of polypharmacy. In a study of 1.4 million patients in Scotland, the researchers examined data to view pharmacy data in comparison to left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD) and comorbidities. They found that patients with LVSD had higher rates of comorbidity and polypharmacy. The LVSD group had a greater rate of repeat prescriptions. The initial data was reviewed again using only the number of comorbidities and revealed that poly-pharmacy was actually tied directly to the number of comorbidities rather than the diagnosis of LSVD. This suggests that a more watchful eye should be kept on these patients to reduce the risk of polypharmacy (Baron-Franco et al., 2017).


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The increasing number of comorbidities in patients can lead to several challenges in their treatment plan. One of the challenges is polypharmacy, which can result in adverse drug reactions and medication non-adherence. This post discusses a study that investigated the relationship between comorbidities and polypharmacy in patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD).

The study conducted by Baron-Franco et al. (2017) provides significant insights into the prevalence of comorbidities and the risks associated with polypharmacy. The results of the study highlighted that patients with LVSD had higher comorbidity rates and were prescribed more repeat medications. However, upon evaluating the data solely based on the number of comorbidities, it was found that polypharmacy was directly correlated to the number of comorbidities rather than the diagnosis of LVSD. This finding suggests that patients with multiple comorbidities should receive greater clinical attention to avoid polypharmacy-related complications. Therefore, it is essential for clinicians to evaluate the medication regimens of patients with comorbidities and modify them accordingly. This would not only ensure effective treatment but also reduce the risk of polypharmacy.

Baron-Franco, B., Castillo-García, A., Gracia-Roselló, A., San-José, A., & Martínez-Sellas, I. (2017). Polypharmacy in patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction: Prevalence and correlates. International Journal of Cardiology, 238, 99-104.


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