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Archives of Clinical Psychiatry (São Paulo)

versão impressa ISSN 0101-6083versão On-line ISSN 1806-938X


SGNAOLIN, Vanessa et al. Patterns of chronic benzodiazepine use in the elderly. Arch. Clin. Psychiatry (São Paulo) [online]. 2016, vol.43, n.4, pp.79-82. ISSN 1806-938X.


In several countries, prevalence studies demonstrate that chronic use of BZD in the elderly population is very high. This scenario has reached pandemic proportions for decades and is an important public health problem.


To examine the independent association between chronic benzodiazepine use in depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder, as well as other clinical and sociodemographic factors.


This cross-sectional study was developed from a population-based survey and conducted from March, 2011 to December, 2012 using a random sample of 550 elderly people who were enrolled in the Family Health Strategy in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Data was collected from identifying epidemiological and health data (sociodemographic, self-perception health, self-reported diseases, smoking, alcohol and pharmacotherapeutic evaluation) and from the diagnoses of mood and anxiety disorders.


Elderly patients diagnosed with depression, anxiety, concomitant depression/anxiety and bipolar disorders, and those who were using antidepressants have a higher risk of benzodiazepine use. Individuals who self-reported drinking alcohol had a lower risk of benzodiazepine use.


Benzodiazepines are often used by the elderly for long periods, which has a direct impact on the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders and on vulnerable groups such as the elderly, who may be unnecessarily taking these drugs.

Palavras-chave : Elderly; anxiety; benzodiazepines; depression; public health.

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