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Alcohol. 2008 Jun;42(4):261-7. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2008.02.002. Epub 2008 Apr 8.

Risk drinking behavior among psychotropic drug users in an aging Finnish population: the FinDrink study.

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School of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Kuopio, Kuopio 70211, Finland.


Psychotropic drug use and alcohol consumption is increasing among aging Finns. Alcohol use is not recommended with benzodiazepines and some other psychotropic medicines. Concomitant use may lead to accidents and other serious consequences. The aim of this study was to analyze the drinking behavior of psychotropic drug users in an aging Finnish population. This study is part of the ongoing epidemiologic FinDrink study. Self-reported data on alcohol consumption and psychotropic drug use were collected from the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study examinations conducted in 1998-2001. Overall, 854 men and 920 women participated in the study. A total of 204 (11.5%) individuals used psychotropic drugs regularly (14.2% of women and 8.5% of men; P<.001). Three quarters of the study population had used alcohol weekly during the preceding year (68.9% of women and 87.5% of men; P<.001). Men who use anxiolytics and sedatives were more likely to drink alcohol at least twice a week (odds ratio=2.42; 95% confidence interval=1.30-4.51), to be binge drinkers (odds ratio=1.86; 95% confidence interval=1.01-3.43) and to be heavy alcohol consumers (odds ratio=2.22; 95% confidence interval= 1.13-4.39) than men not using psychotropics. In women, alcohol consumption and drinking patterns were same between the groups. Our results indicate the potential for alcohol-related health risks among aging Finnish men and women using psychotropic drugs.

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