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Anxiety and Depression Symptoms and Every-Night Sleep Medication Use in Older Adults

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OBJECTIVE: To quantify relationship between anxiety and depression symptoms with every-night sleep medication use in the United States. DESIGN: A case-control analysis to measure association between subjects with anxiety and depression symptoms and sleep medication use. SETTING AND PATIENTS: Older adults (N = 7,590) from the National Health and Aging Trends Study. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Sleep medication use every night. RESULTS: Presence of the four anxiety and depression symptoms was associated with nightly sleep medication use. Those who reported "felt down, depressed, or hopeless" almost every day had an odds ratio (OR) of 3.50 (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.28-5.37) compared with those who did not. Those who reported "little interest or pleasure in doing things" almost every day had an OR of 1.86 (95% CI 1.32-2.61) compared with those with symptoms less often. Those who reported "felt nervous, anxious, or on edge" more than half the days had an OR of 3.43 (95% CI 2.68-4.37) compared with those who experienced the symptom less frequently. Those who reported "unable to stop or control worrying" more than half the days had an OR of 2.91 (95% CI 2.25-3.77) compared with those who did not. CONCLUSION: Older adults with anxiety and depression are more likely to use sleep medications every night. Efforts must be undertaken to reduce anxiety and depression to mitigate excess consumption of sedatives.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2019

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