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To examine the relationship between potential drug interactions and hospital readmissions. Retrospective study with 1,487 adult patients (> 18 years old) admitted to a general hospital in the city of Vitória da Conquista, Northeastern Brazil, from January to December 2007. Data were collected from Hospital Admission Authorization (AIH) forms in the Brazilian National Health System Hospital Database (SIH/SUS). Probabilistic linkage was used to combine multiple AIH forms from the same admission into a single record and to identify readmissions. Information on prescriptions was manually added to the SIH/SUS records. Logistic regression was used to quantitatively assess the impact of drug interactions on hospital readmissions. Cox regression was performed to test the impact of this variable on time to first readmission. A total of 99 readmissions (7% of all patients) were identified. Potential drug interactions were found in 35% of all prescriptions evaluated. Patients with potential drug interactions in a prior admission were more likely to be readmitted. The adjusted odds ratio indicated a 2.4-fold increase in odds of being readmitted; and the adjusted hazard ratio showed that this risk was increased by 79% in patients with potential drug interactions (p < 0.01). The study results suggest an association between prior drug interactions and increased risk of readmission. Health professionals should be aware of potential hazard of certain drug combinations and closely monitor high-risk patients such as elderly patients and those with renal impairment.


Cristiano Soares de Moura, Ludmila Santana Tavares, Francisco de Assis Acurcio. Hospital readmissions related to drug interactions: a retrospective study in a hospital setting]. Revista de saúde pública. 2012 Dec;46(6):1082-9

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PMID: 23358622

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