Acetaminophen safe for seniors in nursing homes
Acetaminophen remains a safe choice of analgesic for most elderly residents of nursing homes, a recent study suggests.
Researchers prospectively analysed 5,429 elderly adults (mean age, 86.1±8.1 years; 73.9 percent female) living across 175 nursing homes. Baseline prescriptions were assessed for acetaminophen use, either alone or in combination with other medications. The primary study outcome was 18-month mortality, while myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke events were secondary outcomes.
Less than half (41.2 percent; n=2,239) of the participants were on acetaminophen medication and were included in the analysis of the primary outcome. Those with a history of stroke (n=628) and MI (n=243) and those who had died (n=1,629) were excluded for the analysis of the secondary outcomes.
There were 667 deaths in the acetaminophen group and 940 in those not on the medication. The resulting incident mortality rates were comparable between the two groups (22.34 vs 22.16 per 100 person-years; p=0.8809).
Propensity score matching did not meaningfully alter the findings. The resulting incident mortality rates in the acetaminophen and no-acetaminophen groups were 21.56 and 22.88 percent person-years, respectively, which yielded a nonsignificant difference (p=0.3283).
Similar findings were obtained for the secondary outcomes. The incidence rates of MI were 2.31 percent and 2.04 percent in those who were and were not on acetaminophen medication (p=0.5890). Stroke incidence was likewise comparable between the two groups (4.64 percent vs 3.85 percent; p=0.2765).
Logistic regression analysis further proved no significant link between acetaminophen use and death (hazard ratio, 0.97; 95 percent CI, 0.86–1.10; p=0.64), MI (odds ratio [OR], 1.37; 0.75–2.53; p=0.31) and stroke (OR, 1.13; 0.74–1.72; p=0.59).