In pharmacoepidemiology, researchers study the use and the effects of medications using large cohorts of people. At Aging Research Center (ARC), we aim to understand and improve drug treatment in older people.

Older age is associated with physiological changes that make people more susceptible to medications. Ensuring the safety of medication use is therefore critical. Thanks to the unique features of the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register, which covers the entire Sweden, we have been able to carefully monitor trends and examine risks factors of sub-optimal medication use in older people.

Our work focuses on the quality of older people’s drug therapy (e.g. potentially inappropriate drugs, polypharmacy), medications in specific diseases (e.g. osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, dementia), and monitoring drug use in specific populations (e.g. in nursing homes, near the end of life). Inequality in drug use is prevalent also in the older population. We analyse social differences in prescribing, according to gender, age or even socioeconomic status.

We also contribute to the development of technical solutions in pharmacoepidemiology to help prescribers make optimal decisions, and we collaborate closely with the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare.


Recent publications

  1. Haasum Y, Fastbom J, Johnell K. Use of Fall-Risk Inducing Drugs in Patients Using Anti-Parkinson Drugs ( APD ): A Swedish Register-Based Study. 2016:1-10.
  2. Wastesson JW, Canudas-Romo V, Lindahl-Jacobsen R, Johnell K. Remaining Life Expectancy With and Without Polypharmacy: A Register-Based Study of Swedes Aged 65 Years and Older. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2016;17(1):31-35.
  3. Morin L, Fastbom J, Laroche M-L, Johnell K. Potentially inappropriate drug use in older people: a nationwide comparison of different explicit criteria for population-based estimates. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2015;80(2):315-324.
  4. Fastbom J, Johnell K. National Indicators for Quality of Drug Therapy in Older Persons: the Swedish Experience from the First 10 Years. Drugs Aging. 2015;32(3):189-199.
  5. Haasum Y, Fastbom J, Johnell K. Institutionalization as a risk factor for inappropriate drug use in the elderly: a Swedish nationwide register-based study. Ann Pharmacother. 2012;46(3):339-346
  6. Haasum Y, Fastbom J, Fratiglioni L, Johnell K. Undertreatment of osteoporosis in persons with dementia? A population-based study. Osteoporos Int. 2012;23(3):1061-1068.
  7. Karlsson B, Johnell K, Sigström R, Sjöberg L, Fratiglioni L. Depression and Depression Treatment in a Population-Based Study of 60+ Old Individuals Without Dementia. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2016.
  8. Wastesson JW, Fastbom J, Ringback Weitoft G, Fors S, Johnell K. Socioeconomic inequalities in access to specialized psychotropic prescribing among older Swedes: a register-based study. Eur J Public Health. 2014;24(6):991-996.