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December 10, 2003

Benzodiazepine Use and Risk of Mortality in Individuals Aged 85 Years or Older

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(22):2942-2943. doi:10.1001/jama.290.22.2942

To the Editor: Although benzodiazepines are indicated for only a limited number of psychiatric disorders, they are the most commonly prescribed psychotropic drugs in elderly individuals.1 Use of benzodiazepines in this population has been related to poor outcomes such as hip fractures, motor vehicle crashes, and suicide,24 but it remains unclear to what extent use of benzodiazepines increases the risk of mortality in elderly individuals.5 We investigated the relationship between benzodiazepine use and mortality in a prospective study among individuals aged 85 years or older.

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