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Editor's Correspondence
September 27, 2010

Benzodiazepine Use in Nursing Homes: Too Much or Too Little?—Reply

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of Geriatric Medicine (Drs Briesacher, Field, and Gurwitz) and Department of Medicine and Meyers Primary Care Institute (Drs Briesacher, Field, and Gurwitz and Mr Fouayzi), University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester; and Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Soumerai).

Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(17):1609. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2010.329

In reply

We appreciate the opportunity to respond to a letter on our recent publication.1 The authors postulate that the increase in hip fracture risk in nursing homes observed in our study could have been due to more severe falls, as “[p]atients who do not receive benzodiazepines . . . may perform a greater number of unassisted ADLs.”

This is an interesting hypothesis that warrants further investigation and is consistent with our findings. More importantly, this letter emphasizes the importance of giving careful consideration to the intended as well as the unintended consequences of any new health care policy.

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