QUEBEC CITY, Sept. 10 (UPI) — People who take medications to treat insomnia and anxiety increases their mortality risk by 36 percent, researchers in Canada say.
Dr. Genevieve Belleville, a professor at the Universite Laval, says the findings are the result of an analysis of 12 years of data on more than 14,000 Canadians using the Statistics Canada’s National Population Health Survey.
The data include information on the social demographics, lifestyle and health of Canadians ages 18-102, surveyed every two years from 1994 to 2007.
Survey respondents who report having used medication to treat insomnia or anxiety at least once in the month had a mortality rate of 15.7 percent, but respondents who reported not having used such medications had a mortality rate of 10.5 percent.
After factoring for alcohol and tobacco consumption, physical health, physical activity level and the presence or absence of depressive symptoms among participants, Belleville established the consumption of sleeping pills or anxiety-relieving medications was associated with a 36 percent increase in the risk of death.
The findings are published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.
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