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Socio-demographic lifestyle and psychological predictors of benzodiazepine and z-hypnotic use patterns

journal contribution
posted on 2013-01-01, 00:00 authored by T Nordfjaern, O Bjerkeset, G Bratberg, Steve MoylanSteve Moylan, Michael BerkMichael Berk, R Grawe
Aims : Risk and demographic factors for benzodiazepine and z-hypnotic use are incompletely understood. The aim of the paper was therefore to investigate socio-demographic, lifestyle and psychological factors predicting onset and differential pattern of prescribed benzodiazepine and z-hypnotic use in a Norwegian population sample.

Methods : This retrospective cohort study obtained socio-demographic, psychological and lifestyle variables from the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study. Information about benzodiazepine prescriptions from the Norwegian prescription database were linked to epidemiological questionnaire data. Benzodiazepine use was classified into single-period, intermittent and chronic use, and high dose use was defined as being prescribed a yearly average above 180 daily defined doses.

Results : Older age, sleep difficulties and smoking were positively associated with all patterns of benzodiazepine use. Male gender was related to a reduced risk of all patterns of use, whereas educational achievement was negatively associated with single-period use. Alcohol consumption, anxiety and tension were positively related to intermittent and chronic use, while exercise was negatively related to chronic use. Smoking, sleep difficulties and old age were positively associated with prescriptions of high benzodiazepine doses, while exercise was associated with lower doses.

Conclusions :
Patterns of prescribed benzodiazepine use are linked to demographic, lifestyle and clinical variables. Non-pharmacological treatment for sleep difficulties and smoking cessation may reduce the risk of chronic benzodiazepine use.



Nordic journal of psychiatry






107 - 116


Informa Healthcare


Oslo, Norway





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2013, Informa Healthcare