Multimorbidity, polypharmacy, and drug-drug-gene interactions following a non-ST elevation acute coronary syndrome: analysis of a multicentre observational study

R. M. Turner, E. M. de Koning, V. Fontana, A. Thompson, M. Pirmohamed

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The number of patients living with co-existing diseases is growing. This study aimed to assess the extent of multimorbidity, medication use, and drug- and gene-based interactions in patients following a non-ST elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS).

In 1456 patients discharged from hospital for a NSTE-ACS, comorbidities and multimorbidity (≥ 2 chronic conditions) were assessed. Of these, 698 had complete drug use recorded at discharge, and 652 (the ‘interaction’ cohort) had drug use and actionable genotypes available for CYP2B6, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, CYP3A5, DPYD, F5, SLCO1B1, TPMT, UGT1A1, and VKORC1. The following drug interactions were investigated: pharmacokinetic drug-drug (DDIs) involving CYPs (CYPs above, plus CYP1A2, CYP2C8, CYP3A4), SLCO1B1, and P-glycoprotein; drug-gene (DGIs); drug-drug-gene (DDGIs); and drug-gene-gene (DGGIs). Interactions predicted to be ‘substantial’ were defined as follows: DDIs due to strong inhibitors/inducers, DGIs due to variant homozygous/compound heterozygous genotypes, and DDGIs/DGGIs where the constituent DDI/DGI(s) both influenced the victim drug in the same direction.

In the whole cohort, 727 (49.9%) patients had multimorbidity. Non-linear relationships between age and increasing comorbidities and decreasing coronary intervention were observed. There were 98.1% and 39.8% patients on ≥ 5 and ≥ 10 drugs, respectively (from n = 698); women received more non-cardiovascular drugs than men (median (IQR) 3 (1–5) vs 2 (1–4), p = 0.014). Overall, 98.7% patients had at least one actionable genotype. Within the interaction cohort, 882 interactions were identified in 503 patients (77.1%), of which 346 in 252 patients (38.7%) were substantial: 59.2%, 11.6%, 26.3%, and 2.9% substantial interactions were DDIs, DGIs, DDGIs, and DGGIs, respectively. CYP2C19 (49.5% of all interactions) and SLCO1B1 (18.4%) were involved in the largest number of interactions. Multimorbidity (p = 0.019) and number of drugs (p = 9.8 × 10−10) were both associated with patients having ≥ 1 substantial interaction. Multimorbidity (HR 1.76, 95% CI 1.10–2.82, p = 0.019), number of drugs (HR 1.10, 95% CI 1.04–1.16, p = 1.2 × 10−3), and age (HR 1.05, 95% CI 1.03–1.07, p = 8.9 × 10−7), but not drug interactions, were associated with increased subsequent major adverse cardiovascular events.

Multimorbidity, polypharmacy, and drug interactions are common after a NSTE-ACS. Replication of results is required; however, the high prevalence of DDGIs suggests integrating co-medications with genetic data will improve medicines optimisation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number367
JournalBMC Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • acute coronary syndrome
  • interactions
  • multimorbidity
  • pharmacogenomics
  • polypharmacy


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