Anxiety/Sleeping pills can increase Alzheimer's risk

by MalloryJ on September 12, 2014 - 8:44pm

Anxiety/Sleeping pills can increase Alzheimer's risk

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/alzheimer-s-risk-possibly-raised-with-use-of-anxiety-sleeping-pills-study-1.2761931

 

Summary

This article talks about how anxiety and sleeping pills can increase Alzheimer’s risk in elders by 51%.  Scientists from the University of Bordeaux in France and Montreal University tracked 8,890 elders (over age 65) living in Québec.  All 8,890 were part of the province’s drug plan; they were analyzed for 9 years, from January 1st 2000 to December 31st 2009.  The researchers examined which elders used benzodiazepines (used to treat anxiety and insomnia) and which were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  They found that 1,796 of the elders were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 6 years into the study, elders who used the medication for 3+ months were linked to a 43-51% higher risk of developing the disease.  Researchers suggest that using benzodiazepines should only be used for a short period of time that doesn’t exceed three months.  The main issue is it could make elders unsteady, they could fall; fracture their hip or other bones. They could also become addicted to the medication, 20-25% of people who are over the age of 65 say they use benzodiazepines regularly.  There are other methods of treating anxiety and insomnia, like using the bedroom for only sleep, making sure its dark and quiet, also avoid drinking coffee and limit food intake during the evening.  Physicians encourage theses non-medicated treatments.

 

Critique

In my opinion, I do believe that this is a big problem in Québec; giving elders this kind of medication is risky.  We as a whole should listen to these studies shown in this article because it is estimated that 1.4 million Canadians will suffer from dementia in 2031.  Which will cost 300 billion dollars a year according to government statistics.  This study is well done; they did a good job with collecting their information.  Expanding the experiment for 9 years is a great way to get accurate results.  This study does worry me, it could affect my loved ones.   

Comments

The article seems very interesting. The article looks very informative and straightforward due to the statistics shown. The article was shocking to me. I didn't know sleeping pills increases the risk of Alzheimer.The numbers shock me like the estimated that 1.4 million Canadians will suffer from dementia in 2031. Very clear summary and a solid opinion. I absolutely agree with your opinion.

I agree completely that all these medications should be used with precaution. it is such a horrible disease and if we can avoid the increase of people getting it, it would benefit the country financially and emotionally. It is good to know at least that they are looking for ways to try and treat the problem without medication. These methods can be very effective and can help avoid much larger problems in the future.

About the author