Jun 9th 2018
Pooled Cohort Equations (PCEs) are used by doctors to help them determine the dosage of a medication they should prescribe to a patient. These PCEs are used for prescriptions of common drugs such as blood-pressure and cholesterol-lowering medications. Some researchers today feel that the PCEs were based on outdated data and millions may have been incorrectly prescribed.
Researchers found that some of the data used was from people in 1948. Since 1948 there have been many significant changes in people’s lifestyles such as eating habits, foods, sleep and exercise patterns plus environmental factors. Researchers stated that theses changes may have introduced as much as 20% error in calculations.
In addition, there is a lack of African-Americans in the datasets. It is currently acknowledged that there is a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease in African-Americans. This means that many African-Americans are probably incorrectly prescribed their medications, or not medicated at all.
Lastly, besides data issues, the researchers found that the statistical methods used in the equations were also outdated and need to be up to current standards.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has approved the addition of new datasets and new statistical methods to generate updated PCEs.