• Admissions to a family medicine inpatient service were monitored retrospectively over a one-year period to determine the incidence of drug-related hospitalizations. Of the 293 admissions, 45 (15.4%) were identified as drug related; in 29 admissions (9.9%), a drug-related problem was identified as the primary cause of hospitalization. The two patient characteristics associated with a drug-related admission (DRA) were marital status (divorced) and age (older patients). The two most common types of DRAs were adverse drug reactions (17/45,37.8%) and drug abuse (14/45,31.1%), with alcohol being the most commonly abused agent. Adverse drug reactions were most commonly implicated in DRAs for patients over 70 years old, with drug abuse more evenly distributed among age groups. Educational programs that incorporate pharmacoepidemiologic strategies into all health care disciplines are necessary to address this public health issue.
(Arch Intern Med 1987;147:1117-1120)