This supports the blue cross/ blue shield of PA study showing a 4X-6X mortality in 12,000 regular users ( 60-180 nights/yr and 180 + nights/yr) ages 15-75; compared to 25,000 age/disease matched controls. These drugs should be used carefully.
John W. Gray MD
Anxiolytics and Hypnotics Associated with Long-Term Mortality Hazard — Physician’s First Watch
Anxiolytics and Hypnotics Associated with Long-Term Mortality Hazard
By Joe Elia
Use of anxiolytic and hypnotic drugs carries an increased mortality risk even after usage stops, according to a retrospective cohort study in BMJ.
Using the U.K.'s General Practice Research Database, researchers followed mortality in roughly 35,000 adults who'd received benzodiazepines; "Z" drugs such as Ambien and Sonata; other anxiolytics and hypnotics; or combinations of the three categories. Users were matched with some 70,000 other patients without such prescriptions.
During roughly 8 years of follow-up, there was an overall doubling of mortality risk among the users relative to controls (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.1). The risk remained significant after restricting the analysis to those who only received the drugs in the first year.
After excluding deaths in the first year of follow-up, the authors calculate that there were 4 excess deaths linked to drug use per 100 people followed over the 8-year period.