A new study published in the medical journal, BMJ Open links the use of sleeping pills to an increased risk for death and cancer. Findings from the study suggest that patients that take sleeping pills are almost 4 times more likely to die than people who do not take sleeping aids. The more doses of sleeping pills the patients took, the more their chances of death increased. Patients who took more than 132 doses a year were five times more likely to die, than their counterparts who did not use sleep aids; these findings were true regardless of age.
HealthDay News reports that sleeping pills linked to increased risks for deaths include: Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata, barbiturates and sedative antihistamines. The research also suggests that those who took the highest doses of sleeping aids were at elevated risks for several types of cancer including, lymphoma, esophagus, colon and prostate cancers.Although, the use of sleeping aids did not increase the risks for getting leukemia, breast cancer, uterine cancer, bladder cancer, leukemia and melanoma.
During this study researchers followed 10,500 patients who used sleeping aids between 2002 and 2007. The patients had a wide range of underlying health issues. Many experts are warning the public that study only shows an association between sleeping aids and increased risk for death, not cause-and-effect.
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