Anticholinergics Raise the Risk of Cognitive Decline among Teens

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The article named “Anticholinergic burden: First comprehensive analysis using claims data shows large variation by age and sex” is published in


Using the German Pharmacoepidemiological Research Database (GePaRD), authors analyzed outpatient drug dispensations in 2016. Based on the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden (ACB) scale, they classified persons into four categories and determined the cumulative anticholinergic burden (AB) as continuous variable.

Among 16,470,946 persons (54% female), the prevalence of AB (ACB≥3) was 10% among women and 7% among men. Below age 40 it was highest in persons ≤18 years.

Antihistamines, antibiotics, glucocorticoids, antidepressants, contributed to more AB.

AB is common in older persons, but the prevalence in younger age groups was also high-up to 7%. Given the risks associated with AB in older persons, targeted interventions at the prescriber level are needed. Furthermore, risks associated with AB in younger persons should be explored.

The authors have no relevant financial or non-financial interests to disclose. Moreover, this does not alter our adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

Source: Eurekalert

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