29 Feb '12, 9am

Taking sleeping pills can increase the risk of premature death, a new study warns

LONDON - Hundreds of thousands of people who take sleeping pills just twice a month are nearly four times more likely to die prematurely, according to new research. The study, published in the journal BMJ Open, analysed 10,500 people taking a wide-range of sleeping pills, including tamazepam and diazepam. They compared people taking sleeping tablets with those who were not using the drugs but had a similar lifestyle and health conditions. People taking higher doses of tamazepam pills, which were dispensed 2.8 million times in England in 2010, were six times more likely to die in the next two-and-a-half years. For the drug zolpidem, which was prescribed 733,000 times in England in 2010, the risk of death was 5.7 times higher for those taking them most frequently. The drug zopiclone, which was prescribed 5.3 million times in England in 2010, was included in the full analysis...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/World/EDC120229-0000157/Sleepi...

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