A Profile of Calls to a Poison Information Center Regarding Older Adults

Kimberly A. Skarupski, Rita Mrvos, Edward P. Krenzelok

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objectives: The authors sought to examine the nature of calls to poison information centers by adults ages 50 and over. Methods: The authors used data from the national Toxic Exposure Surveillance System and conducted a retrospective review of all cases reported to an American Association of Poison Control Centers Certified Regional Poison Information Center in 1998 and 1999 (N = 6,365). Results: The results indicated that females' poison experiences were more likely the result of therapeutic error, adverse drug reactions, ingestions, and the acute-on-chronic class. The authors found that older age was inversely associated with acute class, suspected suicide, food poisoning, and inhalation and dermal exposures. Discussion: Older adults are the greatest consumers of over-the-counter drugs, take multiple medications for various medical conditions, and are experiencing biological changes that affect drug metabolism. Older women may be at especially high risk because of high drug use. Poison prevention education should target older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-247
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Elderly
  • Older adults
  • Poison control centers
  • Poisonings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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