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By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on September 10, 2010

A new Canadian study suggests medications to treat insomnia and anxiety may increase the risk of mortality.

According to a study conducted by Geneviève Belleville, a professor at Université Laval’s School of Psychology, the risk could increase by as much as 36 percent.

Dr. Belleville arrived at these results through analysis of 12 years of data on over 14,000 Canadians in Statistics Canada’s National Population Health Survey. The data includes information on the social demographics, lifestyle, and health of Canadians age 18 to 102, surveyed every two years between 1994 and 2007.

During this period, respondents who reported having used medication to treat insomnia or anxiety at least once in the month preceding the survey had a mortality rate of 15.7 percent. Respondents who reported not having used such medications had a rate of 10.5 percent.

After controlling for personal factors that might affect mortality risk, notably alcohol and tobacco consumption, physical health, physical activity level, and the presence or absence of depressive symptoms among participants, Dr. Belleville established that the consumption of sleeping pills or anxiety-relieving medications was associated with a 36 percent increase in the risk of death.

Read in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/09/10/medications-for-insomnia-and-anxiety-could-be-dangerous/17963.html



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