Background and objective
Polypharmacy is common in patients with CKD and reportedly associated with adverse outcomes. However, its effect on kidney outcomes among patients with CKD has not been adequately elucidated. Hence, this investigation was aimed at exploring the association between polypharmacy and kidney failure requiring KRT.
Design, setting, participants, and measurements
We retrospectively examined 1117 participants (median age, 66 years; 56% male; median eGFR, 48 ml/min per 1.73 m2) enrolled in the Fukushima CKD Cohort Study to investigate the association between the number of prescribed medications and adverse outcomes such as kidney failure, all-cause mortality, and cardiovascular events in Japanese patients with nondialysis-dependent CKD. Polypharmacy and hyperpolypharmacy were defined as the regular use of 5–9 and ≥10 medications per day, respectively.
The median number of medications was eight; the prevalence of polypharmacy and hyperpolypharmacy was each 38%. During the observation period (median, 4.8 years), 120 developed kidney failure, 153 developed cardiovascular events, and 109 died. Compared with the use of fewer than five medications, adjusted hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) associated with polypharmacy and hyperpolypharmacy were 2.28 (1.00 to 5.21) and 2.83 (1.21 to 6.66) for kidney failure, 1.60 (0.85 to 3.04) and 3.02 (1.59 to 5.74) for cardiovascular events, and 1.25 (0.62 to 2.53) and 2.80 (1.41 to 5.54) for all-cause mortality.
The use of a high number of medications was associated with a high risk of kidney failure, cardiovascular events, and all-cause mortality in Japanese patients with nondialysis-dependent CKD under nephrology care.