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Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2005 Apr;14(4):277-83.

Use of psychotropic drugs in an urban adolescent population: the impact of health-related variables, lifestyle and sociodemographic factors--The Oslo Health Study 2000-2001.

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Division of Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Nydalen, Oslo, Norway.



The aims of the study were to examine use of psychotropic drugs among 15-16 years old adolescents and to study the association between use of drugs and health-related, lifestyle and sociodemographic factors.


The youth part of the Oslo Health Study 2000-2001 included all individuals in 10th grade in Oslo County, Norway. A total of 3612 boys and 3695 girls, participated, giving a participation rate of 86.1% for boys and 90.6% for girls. All students filled in two self-administered questionnaires on various health behaviours, including use of medicines. Persons who reported use of hypnotics, anxiolytics and/or antidepressants during the last 4 weeks were defined as users. Data were analysed using bivariate and multivariate techniques.


In all, 3.4% boys and 3.7% girls had used one or more psychotropic drugs during the last 4 weeks. Multivariate analyses revealed that mental disorders, seeing a psychologist/psychiatrist and use of prescription analgesics were significantly associated with the use of psychotropic drugs for both genders. Smoking, exposure to violence and lower education plans were registered as important factors for males only, whilst for females the factor 'one parent not working' was registered as significant.


The proportion of psychotropic drug users in this young population was relatively low, under 4% and similar for males and females. Analyses of various factors associated with use of psychotropic drugs show that health, physical and mental, are the most important factors, and that lifestyle and socio-economic factors are of minor importance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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