Benzodiazepine anti-anxiety agents: prevalence and correlates of use in a southern community.
BACKGROUND: Benzodiazepine anti-anxiety agents are the most widely prescribed psychotherapeutic drugs in the United States today. Recent evidence, however, suggests that their use may be decreasing. METHODS: We examine the population prevalence and correlates of use of benzodiazepine anxiolytics at the Duke site of the NIMH-sponsored Epidemiologic Catchment Area project. RESULTS: Bivariate analysis of use patterns for the drugs revealed demographic predictors similar to those reported in previous studies: increased likelihood of use by the elderly, Whites, women, the less educated, and the separated or divorced. Use is also associated with symptoms of psychic distress, negative life events, use of health care services, and diagnoses of affective disorder, agoraphobia with panic, and panic disorder. Age, sex, race, education, and marital status remain associated with non-hypnotic benzodiazepine use in a logistic regression analysis. CONCLUSIONS: Multivariate analyses of these data indicate that when potential confounding factors are controlled, age, sex, race, education, and marital status are significantly related to benzodiazepine anxiolytic use but the effects of sex and education are mediated by intervening variables. Implications of these findings are discussed particularly in relation to high levels of use in the elderly.
Swartz, M; Landerman, R; George, LK; Melville, ML; Blazer, D; Smith, K
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