Adverse drug reactions in hospitals: population estimates for Portugal and the ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM crosswalk

Raquel Ascenção, Paulo Nogueira, Filipa Sampaio, Adriana Henriques, Andreia Costa

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Background: Adverse drug reactions (ADR), both preventable and non-preventable, are frequent and pose a significant burden. This study aimed to produce up-to-date estimates for ADR rates in hospitals, in Portugal, from 2010 to 2018. In addition, it explores possible pitfalls when crosswalking between ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM code sets for ADR identification. Methods: The Portuguese Hospital Morbidity Database was used to identify hospital episodes (outpatient or inpatient) with at least one ICD code of ADR. Since the study period spanned from 2010 to 2018, both ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM codes based on previously published studies were used to define episodes. This was an exploratory study, and descriptive statistics were used to provide ADR rates and summarise episode features for the full period (2010–2018) as well as for the ICD-9-CM (2010–2016) and ICD -10-CM (2017–2018) eras. Results: Between 2010 and 2018, ADR occurred in 162,985 hospital episodes, corresponding to 1.00% of the total number of episodes during the same period. Higher rates were seen in the oldest age groups. In the same period, the mean annual rate of episodes related to ADR was 174.2/100,000 population. The episode rate (per 100,000 population) was generally higher in males, except in young adults (aged '15–20', '25–30' and '30–35' years), although the overall frequency of ADR in hospital episodes was higher in females. Conclusions: Despite the ICD-10-CM transition, administrative health data in Portugal remain a feasible source for producing up-to-date estimates on ADR in hospitals. There is a need for future research to identify target recipients for preventive interventions and improve medication safety practices in Portugal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1222
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Drug-related side effects and adverse reactions
  • Hospital information systems
  • International classification of diseases
  • Medical errors
  • Poisoning
  • Portugal


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