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Comment & Response |

Optimizing the Impact of Drugs on Symptom Burden in Older People With Multimorbidity at the End of Life

Danijela Gnjidic, PhD, MPH1; Sallie-Anne Pearson, PhD1; Sarah N. Hilmer, MBBS, PhD2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Faculty of Pharmacy and Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
2Royal North Shore Hospital, Kolling Institute of Medical Research and Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(4):636-637. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.12875.
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To the Editor We commend Chaudhry et al1 on their excellent article that reported high prevalence of symptoms that negatively affect functioning and quality of life in a cohort of older community-dwelling people with multimorbidity and a life expectancy of less than 1 year.

In older people, mulitimorbidity often coexists with polypharmacy, commonly defined as the use of 5 or more drugs. In her Invited Commentary, Ritchie2 highlights that pharmacological treatment of 1 symptom may exacerbate another or a coexisting condition, which may in part explain the increase in symptoms in this population.

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