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Cholinesterase inhibitor treatment may double the risk of hospitalisation for bradycardia

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Do cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) increase the risk of bradycardia?


Participants were 161 community-dwelling people aged ≥67 years who were hospitalised for bradycardia and 466 matched controls (mean age 83 years, 51% women and 26% on a low income). Cases were matched with up to three controls who were similar for age (within 1 year), gender and bradycardia risk score (calculated from a risk model based on demographics, medical care and drug prescriptions). People were identified from records of 1.4 million older people obtained from linking a number of population-based databases: the Canadian Institute for Health Information Discharge Abstract Database, the Ontario Drug benefit database, the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System, the Ontario Registered Persons Database and the Ontario Health Insurance Plan database. Anyone with a pacemaker inserted during the previous 5 years was excluded as were those hospitalised in the previous year.


Hospitals in Ontario, Canada; January 2003 to March 2008.

Risk factors:

Exposure to a ChEI in the 9 months before hospital admission. There were two risk periods, 3 months before the date of hospitalisation (the risk interval) and 7 to …

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  • Sources of funding Individual authors were supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care.


  • Competing interests: None.

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