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Epidermiology of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in the elderly


Several circumstances contribute to the greater propensity for adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in the elderly, including use of multiple drugs and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic alterations intrinsic to aging. We sought to evaluate the characteristics of ADRs in the elderly compared with younger adults.


ADRs were collected from a spontaneous reporting system at Seoul National University Hospital from February 2010 to September 2013. We analyzed causative drugs, clinical manifestations and severity of ADRs.


A total of 15,541 ADRs was reported in patients greater than or equal to 18 years. Common causative drug category included nervous system, neoplastic, anti-infectives. The prevalence of ADRs due to respiratory drugs and cardiovascular drugs was higher in the elderly group (¡Ã 60 years) than in other groups. The most prevalent clinical types were gastrointestinal disorders and skin and appendage disorders. Psychiatric disorder, cardiovascular disorder, hematologic disorder and genitourinary disorder were more prevalent in the elderly group than in other groups. The proportions of severe ADRs were higher in the elderly groups or in male patients.


Elderly patients seemed to be more susceptible to ADRs. Further efforts to understand, management and prevent the ADRs in the elderly are required.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Ju-Young, K., Lim, KH., Park, HK. et al. Epidermiology of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in the elderly. Clin Transl Allergy 4 (Suppl 3), P129 (2014).

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