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Table 6 Polypharmacy and its association with conditions and drug classes (bold numbers = significant results)

From: Epidemiology and associated factors of polypharmacy in older patients in primary care: a northern Italian cross-sectional study

Polypharmacy in relation to the most frequent conditions Median (IQR) p-value a
Chronic conditions n drugs in patients
with the condition
n drugs in patients without the condition  
Hypertension 9 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 10) 0.081
Arthrosis 10 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 10) < 0.001
Diabetes mellitus II 9 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 10) 0.004
Dyslipidaemia 9 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 11) 0.901
Atrial fibrillation 9 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 11) 0.721
Coronary heart disease 10 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 10) 0.006
Osteoporosis 9 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 11) 0.292
Depression 9 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 11) 0.051
Benign prostatic hypertrophy 9 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 11) 0.255
Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease 9 (8 – 10) 9 (8 – 11) 0.885
Chronic heart failure 9 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 11) 0.443
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 10 (8 – 12) 9 (8 – 10) 0.016
Chronic renal failure 9 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 11) 0.158
Hyperuricaemia and/or gout 9.5 (9 – 11) 9 (8 – 11) 0.148
Hypothyroidism 9 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 11) 0.472
Insomnia 9 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 11) 0.923
Cerebrovascular disease 9 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 11) 0.986
Polypharmacy in relation to the most frequent drug classes Median (IQR) p-value a
Drug classes n drugs in patients
with the drug class
n drugs in patients without the drug class  
ARBs/ACE-inhibitors 9 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 10) 0.137
PPIs 9 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 10) < 0.001
Statins 9 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 10) 0.257
Platelet-aggregation inhibitors 9 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 10) 0.056
Beta-blockers 9 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 10) 0.461
Minor diuretics (predominantly hydrochlorothiazide) 9 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 11) 0.642
CCBs 10 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 10) 0.004
Loop diuretics (predominantly Furosemide) 10 (9 – 11) 9 (8 – 10) < 0.001
Vitamins (predominantly vit. D) 10 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 10) < 0.001
Antidepressants 10 (9 – 12) 9 (8 – 10) < 0.001
Oral anticoagulants 9 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 11) 0.620
Anxiolytics/hypnotics (Benzodiazepines + Zolpidem) 10 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 10) < 0.001
Dietary supplements (predominantly Calcium) 10 (9 – 11) 9 (8 – 10) < 0.001
Oral antidiabetic drugs 9.5 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 10) 0.018
Antiasthmatic agents, beta-adrenergics, anticholinergics 10 (9 – 12) 9 (8 – 10) < 0.001
Opioids 10 (9 – 12) 9 (8 – 10) < 0.001
Analgesics - Paracetamol 9 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 11) 0.385
Thyroid hormones 10 (8 – 11) 9 (8 – 10) 0.009
Corticosteroids 10 (9 – 12) 9 (8 – 10) < 0.001
NSAIDs + COX-2-inhibitors (Coxibe) 9 (8 – 10) 9 (8 – 11) 0.716
  1. IQR Interquartile range, COPD Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ARBs Angiotensin II receptor antagonists, ACE Angiotensin converting enzyme, PPIs Proton pump inhibitors, CCBs Calcium channel blockers, NSAIDs Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, COX Cyclooxygenase
  2. a Wilcoxon rank-sum test