Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study finds adverse respiratory outcomes for older people with COPD taking benzodiazepines

Date:
April 17, 2014
Source:
St. Michael's Hospital
Summary:
A group of drugs commonly prescribed for insomnia, anxiety and breathing issues 'significantly increase the risk' that older people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, need to visit a doctor or emergency department for respiratory reasons, new research has found. Benzodiazepines, such as Ativan or Xanax, may actually contribute to respiratory problems, such as depressing breathing ability and pneumonia, in these patients.

A group of drugs commonly prescribed for insomnia, anxiety and breathing issues "significantly increase the risk" that older people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, need to visit a doctor or Emergency Department for respiratory reasons, new research has found.

Benzodiazepines, such as Ativan or Xanax, may actually contribute to respiratory problems, such as depressing breathing ability and pneumonia, in these patients, said Dr. Nicholas Vozoris, a respirologist at St. Michael's Hospital.

Dr. Vozoris said the findings are significant, given that 5 to 10 per cent of the Canadian population has COPD (also known as emphysema), which is mainly caused by smoking. His previous research has shown that 30 per cent of older Canadians with COPD are prescribed benzodiazepines.

His new research was published online today in the European Respiratory Journal. Dr. Vozoris said he believes this is the first study to look at clinical outcomes of COPD patients prescribed these drugs. He used databases at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Studies to identify older adults in Ontario who had been diagnosed with COPD, as well as prescription, health insurance and hospitalization records.

He found that COPD patients who had been newly prescribed a benzodiazepine were at 45 per cent increased risk of having an exacerbation of respiratory symptoms requiring outpatient treatment. They were at 92 per cent greater risk of needing to visit an Emergency Department for COPD or pneumonia. There was an elevated, but not statistically significant, risk of also being hospitalized for respiratory reasons.

He said the findings were consistent even after taking into account the severity of the person's illness -- i.e. they were true for people with less advanced and more advanced COPD.

"Physicians, when prescribing these pills, need to be careful, use caution and monitor the patients for respiratory side effects," said Dr. Vozoris. "Patients also need to watch for respiratory-related symptoms."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by St. Michael's Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nicholas T. Vozoris, Hadas D. Fischer, Xuesong Wang, Anne L. Stephenson, Andrea S. Gershon, Andrea Gruneir, Peter C. Austin, Geoffrey M. Anderson, Chaim M. Bell, Sudeep S. Gill, and Paula A. Rochon. Benzodiazepine drug use and adverse respiratory outcomes among older adults with COPD. European Respiratory Journal, April 2014 DOI: 10.1183/09031936.00008014

Cite This Page:

St. Michael's Hospital. "Study finds adverse respiratory outcomes for older people with COPD taking benzodiazepines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140417090830.htm>.
St. Michael's Hospital. (2014, April 17). Study finds adverse respiratory outcomes for older people with COPD taking benzodiazepines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140417090830.htm
St. Michael's Hospital. "Study finds adverse respiratory outcomes for older people with COPD taking benzodiazepines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140417090830.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins