Correlates of benzodiazepine use in individuals with insomnia.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Sleep Med, Volume 5, Issue 5, p.457-62 (2004)


Adult, Age Factors, Anti-Anxiety Agents, Anxiety, Benzodiazepines, Case-Control Studies, Comorbidity, Depression, Drug Utilization, Female, Humans, Hypnotics and Sedatives, Long-Term Care, Male, Middle Aged, Regression Analysis, Sleep, Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders, Wakefulness


<p><b>BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: </b>Although benzodiazepines (BZDs) are commonly used in the treatment of insomnia, there is little information about psychological, health, and sociodemographic correlates associated with their use.</p><p><b>OBJECTIVE: </b>This study examined correlates of benzodiazepine use for sleep in a clinical sample of patients seeking treatment for insomnia at a sleep disorders clinic.</p><p><b>PATIENTS AND METHODS: </b>The sample consisted of 97 individuals evaluated at a sleep disorders clinic for a presenting complaint of insomnia. Two groups were formed, including one with 61 patients who had been using BZDs for sleep for an average of 56.6 months (SD=68.0), and another with 36 patients who had insomnia but were not using BZDs or any other sleep aid. Logistic regressions, adjusting for an age difference between the user and non-user groups, were performed to examine variables associated with BZD use. Independent variables included demographic, medical, insomnia-related and psychological parameters and subjective sleep-wake characteristics. Unadjusted regression analyses were performed to identify factors associated with a pattern of long-term use (>12 months) within the user group.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>Age was a significant predictor of BZD use (OR=1.84, P = 0.0002). Significant age-adjusted predictors of BZD use included perceived insomnia severity (OR=1.17, P = 0.038), depressive symptoms, (OR=1.108, P = 0.009) and state and trait anxiety symptoms (OR=1.062, P = 0.016; OR=1.084, P = 0.005, respectively). Significant predictors of long-term use (>12 months) were age of insomnia onset (OR=0.951, P = 0.0214), more frequent BZD use (OR=3.284, P = 0.0221), and higher state-anxiety (OR=1.106, P = 0.0471).</p><p><b>CONCLUSIONS: </b>Age, psychological variables and perceived sleep disturbances severity, are associated with BZD use in patients with insomnia.</p>

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