Adverse drug events identified in hospitalized patients in Brazil by International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) code listings

Studies of adverse drug events (ADEs) are important in order not to jeopardize the positive impact of pharmacotherapy. These events have substantial impact on the population morbidity profiles, and increasing health system operating costs. Administrative databases are an important source of information for public health purposes and for identifying ADEs. In order to contribute to learning about ADE in hospitalized patients, this study examined the potential of applying ICD-10 (10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases) codes to a national database of the public health care system (SIH-SUS). The study comprised retrospective assessment of ADEs in the SIH-SUS administrative database, from 2008 to 2012. For this, a list of ICD-10 codes relating to ADEs was built. This list was built up by examining lists drawn up by other authors identified by bibliographic search in the MEDLINE and LILACS and consultations with experts. In Brazil, 55,604,537 hospital admissions were recorded in the SIH-SUS, between 2008 and 2012, of which 273,440 (0.49%) were related to at least one ADE. The proportions and rates seem to hold constant over the study period. Fourteen out of 20 most frequent ADEs were identified in codes relating to mental disorders. Intoxications figure as the second most frequently recorded group of ADEs in the SIH-SUS, comprising 76,866 hospitalizations. Monitoring of ADEs in administrative databases using ICD-10 codes is feasible, even in countries with information systems under construction, and can be an innovative tool to complement drug surveillance strategies in place in Brazil, as well as in others countries.