Is age associated with the number or types of medications prescribed to renal transplant recipients?

Marie A. Chisholm, Joel Melroy, Maribeth Johnson, Laura L. Mulloy, Christina A. Spivey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To determine whether age influences the number or types of medications prescribed to younger (aged 18-64) and elderly (aged ≥65) renal transplant recipients 3 years posttransplant. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study involving renal transplant recipients. SETTING: Medical College of Georgia. PARTICIPANTS: A random sample of 100 elderly and 100 younger renal transplant recipients who received posttransplant care at the Medical College of Georgia, were on stable immunosuppressant therapy regimens, and were at least 3 years posttransplant. MEASUREMENTS: Medical and pharmacy data of recipients were evaluated for demographics; presence of a lipid-lowering agent; number of antihypertensives, immunosuppressants, antidiabetic agents, and total medications; number of rejections; dose per kilogram of immunosuppressant(s); infection-related hospitalizations; and measures of blood pressure, blood glucose, serum creatinine, serum tacrolimus/cyclosporine concentrations, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. RESULTS: Elderly recipients were more likely to have diabetes mellitus before the transplant and to develop diabetes mellitus afterwards (P=.04) and were prescribed more total medications (12.40±3.72 vs 10.25±4.07, P<.001) and antidiabetic agents (0.89±0.93 vs 0.42±0.77, P<.001) 3 years posttransplant than younger recipients. Elderly recipients also had fewer chronic rejections, more infection-related hospitalizations, lower diastolic blood pressure, and greater fasting blood glucose levels 3 years posttransplant (P<.05) than younger recipients. CONCLUSION: Future investigation should focus on deciphering the implications of the greater numbers of medications prescribed to elderly renal transplant recipients in terms of maximizing desired health outcomes (e.g., graft survival) and minimizing adverse drug-related experiences (e.g., infection).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-394
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Aging
  • Medication regimens
  • Renal transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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