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Table 1 Baseline characteristics of participants according to polypharmacy, England 2012–2013

From: Polypharmacy is a risk factor for hospital admission due to a fall: evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing

  Polypharmacy  
  No medications 1–4 medications 5–9 medications
(polypharmacy)
10+ medications
(heightened polypharmacy)
P Value
Number of Respondents 1720 3051 1290 159  
Age, years: mean (s.e.) 64.07 (0.23) 66.04 (0.24) 71.00 (0.39) 71.02 (0.81) < 0.001
Women, % (n) 47.3 (909) 54.5 (1729) 52.3 (675) 50.2 (85) < 0.001
Hospitalization due to falls by 2018, % (n) 1.5 (33) 4.7 (153) 7.9 (99) 14.8 (25) < 0.001
Deaths [by March 2018], % (n) 3.1 (63) 8.1 (245) 19.3 (240) 30.8 (46) < 0.001
Living alone, % (n) 23.5 (430) 28.8 (917) 36.1 (469) 38.7 (66) < 0.001
Highest level of education, % (n)
 Degree, 22.6 (404) 15.7 (533) 11.5 (148) 11.5 (21) < 0.001
 Intermediate 61.5 (1064) 58.7 (1805) 46.8 (722) 46.8 (81)
 No qualification 15.9 (252) 25.6 (713) 41.7 (420) 41.7 (57)
Poor vision, % (n) 7.8 (123) 11.1 (314) 21.2 (255) 29.8 (48) < 0.001
Diagnoses and Health conditions, % (n)
 CHD 0.4 (10) 4.9 (158) 28.5 (355) 53.3 (82) < 0.001
 Diabetes 0.7 (15) 8.2 (235) 30.9 (383) 47.3 (77) < 0.001
 Depression 3.9 (66) 8.1 (224) 11.4 (115) 18.9 (29) < 0.001
 Asthma or lung disease 4.7 (74) 14.6 (437) 25.2 (310) 53.4 (80) < 0.001
 Stroke 0.3 (6) 2.9 (92) 11.2 (142) 17.0 (23) < 0.001
 Cancer 3.2 (59) 5.4 (171) 7.8 (108) 7.3 (13) < 0.001
 Arthritis 20.0 (411) 39.1 (1268) 58.8 (753) 72.0 (117) < 0.001
 Parkinson’s disease 0.0 (1) 0.6 (20) 1.0 (14) 2.6 (4) < 0.001
 Alzheimer’s disease 0.0 (0) 0.1 (3) 0.4 (4) 0 (0) 0.055
 Dementia 0.1 (3) 0.7 (18) 1.9 (20) 2.1 (2) 0.001
Has 3+ long-term conditions, % (n) 0.6 (12) 3.2 (100) 22.0 (255) 53.5 (84) < 0.001
Takes 2+ FRIDsa, % (n) 0 30.1 (924) 85.6 (1100) 95.3 (151) < 0.001
Difficulty in ADL or IADL, % (n) 8.6 (149) 22.1 (649) 49.6 (582) 68.9 (109) < 0.001
Limitations in mobility, mean (s.e.) 0.69 (0.04) 1.70 (0.05) 3.58 (0.10) 5.57 (0.26) < 0.001
Hardly ever engage in physical activity, % (n) 5.3 (83) 14.1 (388) 34.8 (381) 55.4 (83) < 0.001
BMI value: mean (s.e.) 27.19 (0.14) 28.55 (0.11) 30.37 (0.19) 31.57 (0.55) < 0.001
Current smoker, % (n) 15.0 (205) 12.4 (302) 13.4 (151) 21.7 (32) 0.021
Almost daily alcohol consumption, % (n) 19.7 (382) 20.5 (673) 15.9 (227) 13.7 (22) 0.007
Memory index: mean (s.e.) 11.80 (0.09) 10.92 (0.07) 9.51 (0.11) 8.40 (0.32) < 0.001
  1. Source: ELSA, Wave 6. Weighted data. a FRID Fall-risk increasing drugs