Sedative, hypnotic, and antianxiety medication use in an aging cohort over ten years: a racial comparison.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVES: Prescriptions of sedatives, hypnotics, and antianxiety medications have decreased over the past 15 years. However, racial differences have not been well investigated in controlled analyses. DESIGN: A prospective cohort study. SETTINGS AND PARTICIPANTS: The authors analyzed data from a community-based, biracial cohort of older adults (n = 4,000 at baseline) followed for 10 years to determine sociodemographic and health characteristics associated with the use of these medications between 1986 and 1996. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Information about sedative, hypnotic, and antianxiety medication use and demographic and health characteristics was obtained from a race-stratified, probability-based sample of black and white community-dwelling older adults in the Piedmont region of North Carolina during four in-person interviews spanning 10 years. Descriptive statistics were calculated. Logistic regression was used for the final models. RESULTS: A total of 13.3% of the subjects were taking these medications in 1986, with the frequency of use declining only to 11.8% in 1996 despite the cohort aging 10 years. Correlates of use at baseline were female gender, white race, depressive symptoms, poor self-rated health, impaired physical function, and health services use. These correlates persisted for each of the three follow-up waves of the survey. In 1996, the odds for being white and using these medications was 4.70 in controlled analyses. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the overall decline in the use of sedative, hypnotics, and antianxiety agents in the general population in recent years, over the 10 years of this survey, an aging cohort continued to use these medications at a frequency greater than the general population and did not demonstrate a significant decline in use. Factors unrelated to health status, specifically being white, were among the strongest correlates of use throughout the years of follow-up.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Blazer, D; Hybels, C; Simonsick, E; Hanlon, JT

Published Date

  • September 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 48 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 1073 - 1079

PubMed ID

  • 10983906

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-8614

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2000.tb04782.x


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States