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1.  Comparison of the Safety of Seven Iodinated Contrast Media 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2013;28(12):1703-1710.
We aimed to determine the characteristic adverse events (AEs) of iodinated contrast media (IOCM) and to compare the safety profiles of different IOCM. This study used the database of AEs reports submitted by healthcare professionals from 15 Regional Pharmacovigilance Centers between June 24, 2009 and December 31, 2010 in Korea. All reports of IOCM, including iopromide, iohexol, iopamidol, iomeprol, ioversol, iobitridol and iodixanol, were analyzed. Safety profiles were compared between different IOCM at the system organ level using the proportional reporting ratio (PRR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI). Among a total of 48,261 reports, 6,524 (13.5%) reports were related to the use of IOCM. Iopromide (45.5%), iohexol (16.9%), iopamidol (14.3%) and iomeprol (10.3%) were identified as frequently reported media. 'Platelet, bleeding & clotting disorders' (PRR, 29.6; 95%CI, 1.9-472.6) and 'urinary system disorders' (PRR, 22.3; 95% CI, 17.1-29.1) were more frequently reported for iodixanol than the other IOCM. In conclusion, the frequency of AEs by organ class was significantly different between individual media. These differences among different IOCM should be considered when selecting a medium among various IOCM and when monitoring patients during and after its use to ensure optimum usage and patient safety.
PMCID: PMC3857363  PMID: 24339697
Contrast Media; Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems; Patient Safety
2.  Differential Cardiovascular Outcomes after Dipeptidyl Peptidase-4 Inhibitor, Sulfonylurea, and Pioglitazone Therapy, All in Combination with Metformin, for Type 2 Diabetes: A Population-Based Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0124287.
Data on the comparative effectiveness of oral antidiabetics on cardiovascular outcomes in a clinical practice setting are limited. This study sought to determine whether a differential risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) exists for the combination of a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor plus metformin versus a sulfonylurea derivative plus metformin or pioglitazone plus metformin.
We conducted a cohort study of 349,476 patients who received treatment with a DPP-4 inhibitor, sulfonylurea, or pioglitazone plus metformin for type 2 diabetes using the Korean national health insurance claims database. The incidence of total CVD and individual outcomes of myocardial infarction (MI), heart failure (HF), and ischemic stroke (IS) were assessed using the hazard ratios (HRs) estimated from a Cox proportional-hazards model weighted for a propensity score.
During follow-up, 3,881 patients developed a CVD, including 428 MIs, 212 HFs, and 1,487 ISs. The adjusted HR with 95% confidence interval (CI) for a sulfonylurea derivative plus metformin compared with a DPP-4 inhibitor plus metformin was 1.20 (1.09-1.32) for total CVD; 1.14 (1.04-1.91) for MI; 1.07 (0.71-1.62) for HF; and 1.51 (1.28-1.79) for IS. The HRs with 95% CI for total CVD, MI, HF, and IS for pioglitazone plus metformin were 0.89 (0.81-0.99), 1.05 (0.76-1.46), 4.81 (3.53-6.56), and 0.81 (0.67-0.99), respectively.
Compared with a DPP-4 inhibitor plus metformin, treatment with a sulfonylurea drug plus metformin was associated with increased risks of total CVD, MI, and IS, whereas the use of pioglitazone plus metformin was associated with decreased total CVD and IS risks.
PMCID: PMC4439115  PMID: 25992614
3.  Co-Medication of Statins with Contraindicated Drugs 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0125180.
The concomitant use of cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) metabolized statins (simvastatin, lovastatin, and atorvastatin) with CYP3A4 inhibitors has been shown to increase the rate of adverse events.
This study was performed to describe the co-medication prevalence of CYP3A4-metabolized statins with contraindicated drugs.
The patients aged 40 or older receiving CYP3A4-metabolized statin prescriptions in 2009 were identified using the national patient sample from a Korea Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service database. Contraindicated co-medication was defined as prescription periods of statins and contraindicated drugs overlapping by at least one day. Co-medication patterns were classified into 3 categories as follows: co-medication in the same prescription, co-medication by the same medical institution, and co-medication by different medical institutions. The proportion of co-medication was analyzed by age, gender, co-morbidities, and the statin’s generic name.
A total of 2,119,401 patients received CYP3A4-metabolized statins and 60,254 (2.84%) patients were co-medicated with contraindicated drugs. The proportion of co-medication was 4.6%, 2.2%, and 1.8% in simvastatin, lovastatin, and atorvastatin users, respectively. The most frequent combination was atorvastatin-itraconazole, followed by simvastatin-clarithromycin and simvastatin-itraconazole. Among the co-medicated patients, 85.3% were prescribed two drugs by different medical institutions.
The proportion of co-medication of statins with contraindicated drugs was relatively lower than that of previous studies; however, the co-medication occurring by different medical institutions was not managed appropriately. There is a need to develop an effective system and to conduct outcomes research confirming the association between co-medication and the risk of unfavorable clinical outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4416887  PMID: 25932626
4.  Risk of Ischemic Stroke Associated with the Use of Antipsychotic Drugs in Elderly Patients: A Retrospective Cohort Study in Korea 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(3):e0119931.
Strong concerns have been raised about whether the risk of ischemic stroke differs between conventional antipsychotics (CAPs) and atypical antipsychotics (AAPs). This study compared the risk of ischemic stroke in elderly patients taking CAPs and AAPs.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 71,584 elderly patients who were newly prescribed the CAPs (haloperidol or chlorpromazine) and those prescribed the AAPs (risperidone, quetiapine, or olanzapine). We used the National Claims Database from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA) from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2009. Incident cases for ischemic stroke (ICD-10, I63) were identified. The hazard ratios (HR) for AAPs, CAPs, and for each antipsychotic were calculated using multivariable Cox regression models, with risperidone as a reference.
Among a total of 71,584 patients, 24,668 patients were on risperidone, 15,860 patients on quetiapine, 3,888 patients on olanzapine, 19,564 patients on haloperidol, and 7,604 patients on chlorpromazine. A substantially higher risk was observed with chlorpromazine (HR = 3.47, 95% CI, 1.97–5.38), which was followed by haloperidol (HR = 2.43, 95% CI, 1.18–3.14), quetiapine (HR = 1.23, 95% CI, 0.78–2.12), and olanzapine (HR = 1.12, 95% CI, 0.59–2.75). Patients who were prescribed chlorpromazine for longer than 150 days showed a higher risk (HR = 3.60, 95% CI, 1.83–6.02) than those who took it for a shorter period of time.
A much greater risk of ischemic stroke was observed in patients who used chlorpromazine and haloperidol compared to risperidone. The evidence suggested that there is a strong need to exercise caution while prescribing these agents to the elderly in light of severe adverse events with atypical antipsychotics.
PMCID: PMC4366389  PMID: 25790285
5.  Evaluation of low-dose aspirin for primary prevention of ischemic stroke among patients with diabetes: a retrospective cohort study 
Low-dose aspirin is recommended to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, the questions with regard to primary prevention have been raised among patients with diabetes. We evaluated low-dose aspirin use for preventing ischemic stroke in patients with diabetes using a national health insurance database.
Using data from the Korean Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service database from January 1, 2005, through December 31, 2009, a population-based retrospective cohort study was conducted with incident patients with diabetes aged 40 to 99 years old with the initial use of low-dose aspirin during the index period from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2007. We matched each low-dose aspirin user to one non-user using a propensity score. The Cox proportional hazards model was used to compare the risk of hospitalization for ischemic stroke in users and nonusers of low-dose aspirin until December 31, 2009.
Out of 261,065 incident patients with diabetes, 15,849 (6.2%) were low-dose aspirin users. Compared to non-users, the adjusted hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) of low-dose aspirin users for hospitalization due to ischemic stroke was 1.73 (95% CI; 1.41-2.12). In a sensitivity analysis of study subjects with more than 1 year follow-up periods, slightly higher adjusted hazard ratio (1.97, 95% CI; 1.51-2.62) was observed. In the subgroup analyses, there were no significant changes in the risk of hospitalization for ischemic stroke irrespective of gender, age, or comorbidity.
In this study of patients with diabetes, the use of low-dose aspirin showed an increased risk of hospitalization for ischemic stroke. These results suggest that low-dose aspirin use for the primary prevention of ischemic stroke should be reconsidered in patients with diabetes.
PMCID: PMC4346109  PMID: 25733983
Aspirin; Diabetes mellitus; Ischemic stroke; Health insurance claims database; Retrospective cohort study
6.  Utilization Patterns of Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs in Elderly Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2014;29(2):210-216.
This study was conducted to investigate disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) utilization in Korean elderly patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We used data from January 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006 from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service claims database. The study subjects were defined as patients aged 65 yr or older with at least two claims with a diagnosis of RA. DMARD use was compared by the patients' age-group, gender, medical service, and geographic divisions. The patterns of DMARD use in mono- and combination therapy were calculated. RA medication use was calculated by the number of defined daily doses (DDD)/1,000 patients/day. A total of 166,388 patients were identified during the study period. DMARD use in RA patients was 12.0%. The proportion of DMARD use was higher in the younger elderly, females, and patients treated in big cities. Hydroxychloroquine was the most commonly used DMARD in monotherapy, and most of the combination therapies prescribed it with methotrexate. DMARD use in elderly RA patients was noticeably low, although drug prescriptions showed an increasing trend during the study period, clinicians may need to pay more attention to elderly RA patients.
PMCID: PMC3923999  PMID: 24550647
Utilization; Antirheumatic Agents; Arthritis, Rheumatoid; Database
7.  Utilization of evidence-based treatment in elderly patients with chronic heart failure: using Korean Health Insurance claims database 
Chronic heart failure accounts for a great deal of the morbidity and mortality in the aging population. Evidence-based treatments include angiotensin-2 receptor blockers (ARBs), angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I), beta-blockers, and aldosterone antagonists. Underutilization of these treatments in heart failure patients were frequently reported, which could lead to increase morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to evaluate the utilization of evidence-based treatments and their related factors for elderly patients with chronic heart failure.
This is retrospective observational study using the Korean National Health Insurance claims database. We identified prescription of evidence based treatment to elderly patients who had been hospitalized for chronic heart failure between January 1, 2005, and June 30, 2006.
Among the 28,922 elderly patients with chronic heart failure, beta-blockers were prescribed to 31.5%, and ACE-I or ARBs were prescribed to 54.7% of the total population. Multivariable logistic regression analyses revealed that the prescription from outpatient clinic (prevalent ratio, 4.02, 95% CI 3.31–4.72), specialty of the healthcare providers (prevalent ratio, 1.26, 95% CI, 1.12–1.54), residence in urban (prevalent ratio, 1.37, 95% CI, 1.23–1.52) and admission to tertiary hospital (prevalent ratio, 2.07, 95% CI, 1.85–2.31) were important factors associated with treatment underutilization. Patients not given evidence-based treatment were more likely to experience dementia, reside in rural areas, and have less-specialized healthcare providers and were less likely to have coexisting cardiovascular diseases or concomitant medications than patients in the evidence-based treatment group.
Healthcare system factors, such as hospital type, healthcare provider factors, such as specialty, and patient factors, such as comorbid cardiovascular disease, systemic disease with concomitant medications, together influence the underutilization of evidence-based pharmacologic treatment for patients with heart failure.
PMCID: PMC3468388  PMID: 22849621
Congestive heart failure; Drug utilization evaluation; Elderly; Type 2 angiotensin receptor antagonists; Angiotensin-converting enzyme antagonists; Beta-adrenergic blockers
8.  Overlapping Medication Associated with Healthcare Switching among Korean Elderly Diabetic Patients 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2011;26(11):1461-1468.
This study was performed to describe the patterns of healthcare switching with overlapping use of anti-diabetic medication in the elderly using the Korea Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service's claims data. The study subjects were ambulatory elderly diabetic patients (ICD-10, E10-14) receiving at least one oral anti-diabetic drug or insulin, and visiting healthcare facilities more than two times between January and December 2005. A total of 457,975 elderly diabetic ambulatory care patients were identified. The mean of visiting frequencies was 9.0 ( ± 3.6) and switching frequencies was 1.5 ( ± 0.8) during 2005. Switching group consisted of 33% of total study subject. Healthcare switching was common in female patients who were older, and had treated polytherapy more in rural areas. The movement among primary care medical services was very common among the patients in the switching group (52.6%). A statistically significant correlation was observed between the healthcare switching and concomitant drug use (rho = 0.96), and overlapping days (rho = 0.57). The use of overlapping anti-diabetic medication increased with the extent of healthcare switching. Further, frequent switching of healthcare between primary clinics was observed. Efforts should be made to establish continuity for the elderly diabetic patients with the identification of frequent switching with overlapping medication.
PMCID: PMC3207049  PMID: 22065902
Elderly People; Diabetes Mellitus; Healthcare Seeking Behaviour; Prescribing Pattern; Co-medication; Delivery of Health Care; Referral and Consultation; National Health Insurance

Results 1-8 (8)