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Title: Population-scale identification of differential adverse events before and during a pandemic
Abstract

Adverse patient safety events, unintended injuries resulting from medical therapy, were associated with 110,000 deaths in the United States in 2019. A nationwide pandemic (such as COVID-19) further challenges the ability of healthcare systems to ensure safe medication use and the pandemic’s effects on safety events remain poorly understood. Here, we investigate drug safety events across demographic groups before and during a pandemic using a dataset of 1,425,371 reports involving 2,821 drugs and 7,761 adverse events. Among 64 adverse events identified by our analyses, we find 54 increased in frequency during the pandemic, despite a 4.4% decrease in the total number of reports. Out of 53 adverse events with a pre-pandemic gender gap, 33 have seen their gap increase with the pandemic onset. We find that the number of adverse events with an increased reporting ratio is higher in adults (by 16.8%) than in older patients. Our findings have implications for safe medication use and preventable healthcare inequality in public health emergencies.

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10308137
Journal Name:
Nature Computational Science
Volume:
1
Issue:
10
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
p. 666-677
ISSN:
2662-8457
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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