Socio-demographic factors and long-term use of benzodiazepines in patients with depression, anxiety or insomnia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Former studies that have attempted to characterize individual socio-demographic factors associated with long-term benzodiazepine use were based on relatively small sample sizes and/or self-reported data. Our aim was to clarify this using large-scale primary health care data from Sweden. The present study covered 71 primary health care centres containing individual-level data from a total of 919, 941 individuals who visited a primary health care centre (PHCC) during the period 2001–2007. From this database we selected individuals 25 years or older with depression, anxiety and/or insomnia and who were prescribed a benzodiazepine within 0–90 as well as 91–270 days after their first clinical diagnosis of depression, anxiety and/or insomnia. Older age (OR, 2.92, 95% CI, 2.28–3.84), middle SES (OR, 1.22, 95% CI, 1.08–1.38), being on social welfare (OR, 1.40, 95% CI, 1.23–1.62) and not being married were associated with higher long-term benzodiazepine use. The PHCCs only explained a small part of the individual variation in long-term benzodiazepine use. Awareness of the impact on long-term benzodiazepine use of certain individual-level socio-demographic factors is important for health care workers and decision-makers who should aim at targeting general interventions at all primary health care centres.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychiatry


  • Anxiety, Benzodiazepines, Depression, Primary care
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-225
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 1
Publication categoryResearch

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