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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4464


ALVARENGA, Jussara Mendonça et al. A population based study on health conditions associated with the use of benzodiazepines among older adults (The Bambuí Health and Aging Study). Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.3, pp.605-612. ISSN 0102-311X.

The aim of this study was to assess the health conditions and use of health services among elderly users of benzodiazepines. The study was carried out in the city of Bambuí in Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Of 1,742 inhabitants aged over 60, 1,419 participated in the study. Information about benzodiazepine and the use of other medications was obtained by means of interviews and checking medication packaging. After adjustments for confounding variables, benzodiazepine remained significantly associated with poorer self reported health (prevalence ratio = 1.94 and 2.04 for reasonable and bad/very bad health, respectively), common mental disorders (1.33), myocardial infarction (1.42), number of doctor visits in the previous 12 months (1.90 and 2.24 for 2-3 and 4+ visits, respectively) and concomitant use of other medications (1.84 and 1.83 for 2-4 and 5+ medications). The results showed that the factors associated with the use of benzodiazepine were similar to those observed in the elderly in higher income countries. The concomitant use of benzodiazepines and two or more medications was highly prevalent (59.5%), characterizing a situation of risk, which deserves attention as a public health problem.

Keywords : Benzodiazepines; Polypharmacy; Health Status; Aged.

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