Background The START criteria aim to ensure the prescription of drugs that have shown to be beneficial in certain diseases, in people over 65 years of age.
Purpose To analyse if these criteria were met in patients in a reference hospital.
Material and methods A cross-sectional study was carried out that included a sample of 138 patients over 65 years of age who were hospitalised in an Internal Medicine ward at a reference hospital. The variables elicited by the physician in charge of each patient were age, gender, number and type of drugs prescribed (excluding serum therapy and topical treatments), and diagnoses by which to check that the drug was being prescribed in response to the patient’s disease, following the START criteria.
Results The mean age was 76.8 ± 6.3 years, (52.6 were male). Each patient received 11.7 ± 3.6 drugs. 25.9% of the patients received the drugs indicated according to the START criteria; in 37% of the patients 1 START criterion was unmet; in 25.9%, 2 criteria were unmet; in 7.4%, 3 were unmet and in 3.8% of the patients, 4 or 5 criteria were unmet. The START criteria that were met were: statins in diabetes mellitus associated with one or more vascular risk factors (29.6%), platelet antiaggregants in diabetes associated with one or more vascular risk factors (13.6%), clopidogrel or ASA with a history of arteriosclerotic disease in patients with sinus rhythm (12.3%), metformin in type 2 diabetes mellitus in the absence of kidney failure (11.1%), calcium and vitamin D supplements in patients with known osteoporosis (8.6%).
Conclusion Drugs that were prescribed the least, in spite of their indication, were statins and antiaggregants (primary and secondary prevention), possibly due to the perception of the futility of the said treatments in elderly patients. We highlight the low prescribing of calcium and vitamin D in patients with osteoporosis, probably for the aforementioned reason.
References and/or acknowledgements No conflict of interest.
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