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Sleeping Pills Double Risk of Breaking Bones

Sleeping Pills Double Risk of Breaking Bones

(Copyright Fotolia)

By    |   Monday, 08 August 2016 11:52 AM


Insomnia is epidemic in the United States with millions suffering sleepless nights, and their numbers are steadily increasing. About 9 million resort to prescription sleeping pills, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while others try melatonin and other over-the-counter remedies. Sleeping problems tend to get worse with age.


Numerous side effects are associated with sleeping pills, including memory loss and confusion, but a study by Keene University found that sleeping pills can double the risk of breaking a bone, which is especially dangerous in seniors.


A study by England's Keele University found that taking sleeping pills doubles the risk of breaking a bone.


Researchers examined the patient records of more than 300 doctors and found almost 3,500 people over the age of 45 who were prescribed sleeping pills.


Drugs prescribed included both older drugs such diazepam (Valium) and newer drugs called Z-drugs, such as zolpidem (Ambien). They also studied melatonin supplements.

Melatonin is a hormone that's produced by the pineal gland and helps control sleep and wake cycles, and supplements are taken to boost melatonin levels in the body.


The researchers compared patients who took all forms of sleeping pills with patients who didn't take them. The found that those who took Z-drugs doubled their risk of breaking a bone. Melatonin increased the risk by 90 percent, and diazepam by 70 percent.


Other serious side effects have also been reported with sleeping pills. One study found that taking sleeping pills at least twice a week tripled the risk of lung cancer, and another found that Z-drugs increased the risk of heart attack by up to 50 percent.


The Keele study was reported in the journal Age and Ageing.
 

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Insomnia is epidemic in the United States withmillions suffering sleepless nights, and their numbers are steadily increasing. About 9 million resort to prescription sleeping pills, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while others try melatonin...
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2016-52-08
Monday, 08 August 2016 11:52 AM
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