Potentially inappropriate prescribing in two populations with differing socio-economic profiles: a cross-sectional database study using the PROMPT criteria.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to establish the prevalence of potentially inappropriate prescribing (PIP) in middle-aged adults (45-64 years) in two populations with differing socio-economic profiles, and to investigate factors associated with PIP, using the PROMPT (PRescribing Optimally in Middle-aged People's Treatments) criteria.

METHODS: A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted using 2012 data from the Enhanced Prescribing Database (EPD), covering the full population in Northern Ireland and the Health Services Executive Primary Care Reimbursement Service (HSE-PCRS) database, covering the most socio-economically deprived third of the population in this age group in the Republic of Ireland. The prevalence for each PROMPT criterion and overall prevalence of PIP were calculated. Logistic regression was used to investigate the association between PIP and gender, age group and polypharmacy.

RESULTS: This study included 441,925 patients from the EPD and 309,748 patients from the HSE-PCRS database. Polypharmacy was common in both datasets (46.7 % in the HSE-PCRS and 20.3 % in the EPD). The prevalence of PIP was 42.9 % (95%CI 42.7, 43.1) in the HSE-PCRS and 21.1 % (95%CI 21.0, 21.2) in the EPD. Age group, female gender and polypharmacy were significantly associated with PIP in both populations (p < 0.05) and polypharmacy had the strongest association.

CONCLUSIONS: PIP is common amongst middle-aged people with the risk of PIP increasing with polypharmacy. Differences in the prevalence of polypharmacy and PIP between the two populations may relate to heterogeneity in healthcare services and different socio-economic profiles, with higher rates of multimorbidity and associated polypharmacy in more deprived groups.