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Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2012 Feb;47(2):293-301. doi: 10.1007/s00127-011-0344-1. Epub 2011 Jan 23.

Ten-year trends in benzodiazepine use in the Dutch population.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry of the VU Medical Centre, The Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine (EMGO) of the Vrije Universiteit Medical Centre, Valeriusplein 14, 1075 BH, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. c.sonnenberg@ggzingeest.nl

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In the past decades knowledge on adequate treatment of affective disorders and awareness of the negative consequences of long-term benzodiazepine use increased. Therefore, a decrease in benzodiazepine use is expected, particularly in prolonged use. The aim of this study was to assess time trends in benzodiazepine use.

METHODS AND MATERIAL:

Data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA) were used to investigate trends in benzodiazepine use between 1992 and 2002 in two population-based samples aged 55-64 years. Differences between the two samples with respect to benzodiazepine use and to sociodemographic, physical health and mental health characteristics were described and tested with chi-square tests and logistic regression analyses.

RESULTS:

Benzodiazepine use remained stable over 10 years, with 7.8% in LASA-1 (n = 874) and 7.9% in LASA-2 (n = 919) (p = 0.90) with a persisting preponderance in women and in people with low education, low income, chronic physical diseases, functional limitations, cognitive impairment, depression, anxiety complaints, sleep problems and when using antidepressants. Long-term use remained high with 70% in 1992 and 80% in 2002 of total benzodiazepine use.

CONCLUSION:

In the Dutch population aged 55-64, overall benzodiazepine use remained stable from 1992 to 2002, with a high proportion of long-term users, despite the effort to reduce benzodiazepine use and the renewal of the guidelines. More effort should be made to decrease prolonged benzodiazepine use in this middle-aged group, because of the increasing risks with ageing.

PMID:
21258999
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3259393
Free PMC Article
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