Wright EA, Steinhubl SR, Jones JB, Barua P, Yan X, Van Loan R, Frederick G, Bhandary D, Cobden D., Am J Manag Care. 2017 Apr 1;23(4):e106-e112., 2017 Apr 01
OBJECTIVES: Cardioprotective medications improve outcomes following acute coronary syndromes (ACS) but add to medication complexity. We set out to describe the use of these medications and quantify medication changes in patients admitted and discharged for ACS.
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study.
METHODS: Using archived data from the electronic health record (EHR), we evaluated patients with ACS admitted to 1 of 2 hospitals between January 2008 and December 2012. Patients aged 18 to 89 years who were discharged with a principal diagnosis of ACS were included in the study. Descriptive statistics were compiled and medication use was compared at 3 time points: admission, discharge, and within 90 days post discharge.
RESULTS: This study included 4767 patients. The mean number of total medications increased from 8.6 ± 6.5 to 11.4 ± 5.4 from admission to discharge, dropping slightly within 90 days post discharge (11.1 ± 5.2). Patients taking medications at least twice daily increased from 6.4 of 10 at admission to 9 of 10 at discharge. Cardioprotective medication use increased by a relative 76% for aspirin, 72% for statins, 85% for beta-blockers, and 29% for angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin II receptor blockers from admission to discharge, whereas P2Y12 receptor inhibitor use increased 4-fold.
CONCLUSIONS: Medication complexity among patients with ACS are high, with notable changes from admission to discharge. Awareness of the extent of medication burden provides clinicians and policy makers with insight to help address medication use during the ACS peri-hospitalization period.