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Use of non-benzodiazepine hypnotics is associated with falls in nursing home residents: a longitudinal cohort study
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. ARN-J (Aging Research Network - Jönköping). Department of Geriatrics, County Hospital Ryhov, Jönköping, Sweden.
Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
Department of Clinical Sciences in Malmö, Center for Primary Health Care Research, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden.
Department of Clinical Sciences in Malmö, Center for Primary Health Care Research, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden.
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2019 (English)In: Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, ISSN 1594-0667, E-ISSN 1720-8319, Vol. 31, no 8, p. 1087-1095Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Falls and related injuries are common among older people, and several drug classes are considered to increase fall risk.

Aims: This study aimed to investigate the association between the use of certain drug classes and falls in older nursing home residents in Sweden, and relate these to different age groups.

Methods: Information on falls that occurred in the previous year and regular use of possible fall risk drugs including non-benzodiazepine hypnotics (zopiclone and zolpidem) was collected from 331 nursing home residents during 2008–2011. Over the following 6 months, the occurrence of serious falls, requiring a physician visit or hospital care, was registered. Association between serious falls and drug use was compared between an older (≥ 85 years) and a younger group.

Results: An increased fall risk (Downton Fall Risk Index ≥ 3) was found in 93% of the study subjects (aged 65–101 years). Baseline data indicated an association between falls that occurred in the previous year and regular use of non-benzodiazepine hypnotics (p = 0.005), but not with the other studied drug classes. During the following 6 months, an association between use of non-benzodiazepine hypnotics and serious falls in the older group (p = 0.017, odds ratio 4.311) was found. No association was found between the other studied drug classes and serious falls.

Discussion: These results indicate an association between falls and the use of non-benzodiazepine hypnotics, compounds that previously have been considered generally well-tolerated in older people.

Conclusions: Caution is advocated when using non-benzodiazepine hypnotics regularly in older people living in nursing homes. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019. Vol. 31, no 8, p. 1087-1095
Keywords [en]
Accidental falls, Adverse effects, Frail elderly, Hypnotics and sedatives, Longitudinal study, Nursing homes
National Category
Gerontology, specialising in Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-42764DOI: 10.1007/s40520-018-1056-0ISI: 000477664800007PubMedID: 30341643Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85055751099OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-42764DiVA, id: diva2:1283051
Funder
Medical Research Council of Southeast Sweden (FORSS)Futurum - Academy for Health and Care, Jönköping County Council, SwedenAvailable from: 2019-01-28 Created: 2019-01-28 Last updated: 2019-08-14Bibliographically approved

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Aging Clinical and Experimental Research
Gerontology, specialising in Medical and Health Sciences

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