Sleeping pills have been associated with a four-fold increase in suicide risk in the elderly but is it just bad correlation, in that sleeping pills are just a convenient way to commit suicide? Researchers writing in the BMC Geriatrics say that after adjusting for the presence of psychiatric conditions sedatives and hypnotics were both associated with an increased risk of suicide.
Anders Carlsten and Margda Waern from Gothenburg University carried out a case control study to determine whether specific types of psychoactive drugs were associated with suicide risk in later life.
According to Carlsten, "Sedative treatment was associated with an almost fourteen-fold increase of suicide risk in the crude analyses and remained an independent risk factor for suicide even after adjustment for the presence of mental disorders. Having a current prescription for a hypnotic was associated with a four-fold increase in suicide risk in the adjusted model."
The researchers speculate that the drugs may raise suicide risk by triggering aggressive or impulsive behavior, or by providing the means for people to take an overdose.
They also point out the possibility that these drugs may merely be markers for some other factor related to suicide risk, such as somatic illness, functional disability, alcohol use disorder, interpersonal problems, lack of social network or sleep disturbance.
Carlsten said, "Persons with these problems might be more likely to seek health care and perhaps more likely to receive prescriptions for psychotropic drugs. However, given the extremely high prescription rates for these drugs, a careful evaluation of the suicide risk should always precede prescribing a sedative or hypnotic to an elderly individual".
Article: 'Are sedatives and hypnotics associated with increased suicide risk in the elderly?' Anders Carlsten and Margda Waern, BMC Geriatrics
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Part I: Bee Deaths Mystery Solved? Neonicotinoids (Neonics) May Actually Help Bee Health
- Smoking, Drinking And Eating: It's Not About Your Freedom
- Chronic Pain Isn't All In The Brain
- Part II: Bee Deaths And CCD - Flawed Chensheng Lu Harvard Studies Endanger Bees
- Violence, Sex And Taboo: The Original Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales Back In Print
- Like Collaboration And Intelligence In Humans? Thank War
- Diversity Fatigue: Why Businesses Struggle To Close The Gender Gap
- "There is no question they were created to cater to universities and are staffed by people from..."
- "And my second link should be not a copy of the first, but this: http://www.nature.com/news/half..."
- "Recently I saw The Conversation remove/censor legitimate comments arguing against an article written..."
- tags because there's no testing..." href="/robert_inventor/why_we_cant_backup_earth_on_mars_the_moon_or_anywhere_else_in_our_solar_system-148364#comment-182183">"Robert, you might want to reformat my post. I intended to highlight only the headlines for easy..."
- "My only complaint with good thinkers and writers has hither always been that they should produce..."
- Behavioral interventions to prevent progression to diabetes equally effective in men and women
- Gender differences in adaptation to space flight
- Long-term complication rate low in nose job using patient's own rib cartilage
- Survival differences seen for advanced-stage laryngeal cancer
- Effect of once-daily, low-dose aspirin on heart attack deaths and other outcomes
Books By Writers Here