To estimate the prevalence of and identify sociodemographic risk factors for sedative medication use in the general Canadian population, and to examine the association between sedative medication use and body mass index (BMI).
Participants from the 1994-2003 Canadian national health surveys, the National Population Health Survey (NPHS) and the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS). For the 2003 CCHS, n = 134,072, ages 12-80+ years.
Measurements and Results:
The overall prevalence of sedative medication use in Canada in 2003 was 5.5%, having more than doubled since 1994. Notable rises in sedative medication use have occurred among men, non-elderly, and obese individuals. After adjusting for potential sociodemographic and health status confounders, including psychiatric comorbidities, the odds of sedative use were significantly greater among morbidly obese (BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2) men (OR = 1.89, 95%CI = 1.02-3.53) and underweight (BMI < 18.5 kg/m2) women (OR = 2.11, 95%CI = 1.26-3.53).
The use of sedative medications has substantially risen among the general Canadian population, and among particular population subgroups. The greater odds of sedative medication use found among morbidly obese men may reflect the presence of underlying obstructive sleep apnea, which may in turn serve to explain in part the known relationship between sedative medications and mortality. The increase in sedative medications coupled with their known adverse health associations raises potential public health concerns.
Vozoris NT; Leung RS. Sedative medication use: prevalence, risk factors, and associations with body mass index using population-level data. SLEEP 2011;34(7):869-874.