Anticholinergic Burden Assessed Using General Practice Electronic Records

Patrick Ball, Hana Morrissey, Louis Pilotto

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Aim: To determine the anticholinergic burden (ACB) of an Australian primary care population. 

    Method: A cross-sectional study was undertaken of medication data from 11 general practices. Participants were active patients aged 65 years and over seen at least 3 times in the last 2 years (n = 4853). The ACB score was calculated based on a UK peer-reviewed scoring system (Fox) and a modified scale (Fox-plus) that included medications not present in the Fox scale. The main outcome measure was total ACB from prescribed medications. 

    Results: A Fox ACB score ? 4 is associated with increased risk of morbidity and mortality, 249 (9%) females, 130 (6%) males and 379 (8%) overall fell in this category. Applying the Fox-plus ACB scale, 983 (36%) females, 630 (30%) males and 1613 (33%) overall fell in this category. 

    Conclusion: A large proportion of the elderly population may have cognitive impairment because of their therapy. Alternative medications or strategies are needed to maintain therapeutic benefits with a low ACB.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)202-205
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice and Research
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013


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