Sunday, September 12, 2010

Insomnia and anxiety medications increase mortality risk by 36%: Canadian study

This is a decent enough article except when it comes to listing the drugs in the table. Ambien - not available in Canada. Lunesta - not available in Canada. Rozerem - not available in Canada. Sonata - was called Starnoc in Canada but has been discontinued. Silenor - not available under this name. No mention of Imovane at all, which is easily the most prescribed sleeping pill in this country. Memo to the reporter: check more than one source and make sure one of them is Canadian.

From the National Post:
A new comprehensive Canadian study that looks at 12 years’ worth of Statistics Canada data has concluded that taking medications to treat insomnia and anxiety increases mortality risk by 36%.

Genevieve Belleville, a professor at Universit√© Laval‘s School of Psychology, published her finding in the September edition of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

Belleville arrived at these results through analysis of 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. She also considered the possibility that depression, alcohol and tobacco consumption, physical health and physical activity level could contribute to mortality rates and controlled for these factors.

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%. Respondents who reported not having used such medications had a rate of 10.5%. ...more

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