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.