Incidence and characteristics of benzodiazepine use in an elderly cohort: the EVA study

Therapie. Nov-Dec 2005;60(6):561-6. doi: 10.2515/therapie:2005078.


Objective: The aim of this study was to estimate the incidence of benzodiazepine use in an elderly population and to identify associated factors.

Methods: Data were collected in four self-report questionnaires on the use of sedatives and sleeping drugs. These questionnaires were sent every 6 months, over a 2-year period, to the 1272 elderly subjects interviewed at the first follow-up examination of the EVA (Epidemiology of Vascular Aging) Study.

Results: The incidence rate of benzodiazepine use was 4.7 per 1000 person-months (95% confidence interval [CI] 3.6, 5.8). In multivariable analyses (logistic regression model), incident use of benzodiazepines was significantly associated with depressive or anxious symptoms (odds ratio [OR] = 3.3; 95% CI 1.7, 6.4), high use of non-psychotropic drugs (> or = 3; OR = 1.8; 95% CI 1.1, 3.1) and female gender (OR = 1.9; 95% CI 1.1, 3.3).

Conclusion: Simultaneous use of benzodiazepines and other medications should be carefully assessed in elderly patients, considering the risk of adverse drug reactions and drug-drug interactions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Benzodiazepines*
  • Cardiovascular System / growth & development*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Drug Utilization / statistics & numerical data*
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Benzodiazepines