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Benzodiazepines, Z-drugs do not up risk of dementia in patients with affective disorders

05 May 2020

Use of benzodiazepines or Z-drugs is not associated with subsequent dementia, even when exposures are cumulated or divided into long- and short-acting drugs, reveals a study.

Of the 235,465 patients included, 171,287 (75.9 percent) had any use of benzodiazepines or Z-drugs, and 9,776 (4.2 percent) were diagnosed with dementia during a median follow-up of 6.1 years (interquartile range, 2.7–11).

After multiple adjustments in either the cohort analysis or a nested case-control design, no association was found between any use of benzodiazepines or Z-drugs and subsequent dementia. The cohort analysis further showed that the number of prescriptions and the cumulated dose of benzodiazepines or Z-drugs did not correlate with dementia.

On the other hand, patients with the lowest use of benzodiazepines or Z-drugs had a slightly higher risk of developing dementia (odds ratio [OR], 1.08, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.01–1.15) compared with no lifetime use in the nested case-control study, where prescriptions were counted from 1995 until 2 years before the index date.

In contrast, those with the highest use had the lowest odds of developing dementia (OR, 0.83, 95 percent CI, 0.77–0.88).

“Some results were compatible with a protective effect,” the investigators said.

This cohort and nested case-control study involved patients aged >20 years who were identified in the Danish National Patient Registry as having had a first-time hospital contract for an affective disorder between 1996 and 2015.

The investigators obtained information on all prescriptions for benzodiazepines, Z-drugs and other anxiolytics from the Danish National Prescription Registry and followed patients for incident dementia, defined by hospital discharge diagnosis or acetylcholinesterase inhibitor use.

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Most Read Articles
Jairia Dela Cruz, 6 days ago
In patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) receiving angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, high dosing confers benefits for the risk of death or hospitalization that are similar to that obtained with lower dosing, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Pearl Toh, Yesterday
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2 days ago
Women with pre-eclampsia are at higher risk of developing heart failure, a study suggests.
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Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are at a higher risk of sustaining hip fractures, a recent study has found.