2019-01-14Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.25646/5932
Associations between the use of specific psychotropic drugs and all-cause mortality among older adults in Germany: Results of the mortality follow-up of the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey 1998
Busch, Markus A.
Background Use of psychotropic drugs is common among older adults. Population-based studies on the associations of psychotropic drug use with mortality are sparse. Objectives To investigate the associations between the use of specific psychotropic drug groups (opioids, antipsychotics, antidepressants and benzodiazepines) and all-cause mortality among community-dwelling older adults in Germany. Methods Participants of the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey 1998 were followed up for mortality from 1997 to 2011. Persons aged 60–79 years with complete data on psychotropic drug use at baseline and on mortality follow-up were considered as study population (N = 1,563). Associations between the use of opioids, antipsychotics, antidepressants and benzodiazepines and all-cause mortality were examined by Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for sociodemographics (sex, age, community size, region, socioeconomic status), life style (smoking, sports, risky alcohol drinking) and health conditions (obesity, disability, history of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, any cancers, any mental disorders) at baseline. Results After a median follow-up of 11.4 years, 21, 18, 23 and 26 deaths were documented among those who used at baseline opioids (n = 39), antipsychotics (n = 30), antidepressants (n = 53) and benzodiazepines (n = 54) with an unadjusted mortality rate (MR) of 57.7, 59.1, 44.6 and 53.7 per 1000 person-years, respectively. Meanwhile, 400 deaths were documented among 1,406 nonusers of any of the above mentioned psychotropic drugs with a MR of 26.7 per 1000 person-years. The age and sex adjusted mortality rate ratios in comparison with nonusers were 2.20 (95% confidence intervals 1.42–3.41), 1.66(1.03–2.70), 1.56(1.06–2.28), and 1.57(1.07–2.31) for the use of opioids, antipsychotics, antidepressants and benzodiazepines, respectively. In the fully adjusted Cox models, use of opioids (hazardous ratio 2.04, 95% confidence intervals 1.07–3.89), antipsychotics (2.15, 1.11–4.15) and benzodiazepines (1.76, 1.09–2.82), but not antidepressants, were significantly associated with an increased risk of mortality. Conclusions Use of opioids, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines is significantly associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality among community-dwelling older adults in Germany. Clinicians should be careful in prescribing these psychotropic drugs to older adults while patients already under psychotropic therapy should well balance the risks and benefits of drug use. Further studies with a larger sample size and information on specific indications for psychotropic drug use and mental comorbidities are required to confirm the findings of the present study.
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