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Open Access Research article

Sedative, hypnotic, anxiolytic and opioid medicament use and its co-occurrence with tobacco smoking and alcohol risk drinking in a community sample

Ulrich John*, Sebastian E Baumeister, Henry Völzke, Christian Meyer, Sabina Ulbricht and Dietrich Alte

Author Affiliations

University of Greifswald, Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Walter-Rathenau-Str. 48, D-17487 Greifswald, Germany

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BMC Public Health 2007, 7:337  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-337

Published: 20 November 2007

Abstract

Background

Sedative, hypnotic, anxiolytic and opioid medicament (SO) use and its relation to tobacco smoking and alcohol risk drinking is largely unknown. Prevalence data for SO intake and its co-occurrence with tobacco smoking and alcohol risk drinking considering age are presented.

Methods

Random general population sample of individuals aged 20–79 drawn from a mixed rural and urban area in Germany (Study of Health in Pomerania, SHIP). All medicament intake during the past 7 days prior to the interview was assessed according to the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical classification as part of an interview conducted in a health examination center.

Results

Among men, 3.0%, and among women 5.0% took SO. The proportion of SO users was higher (odds ratio 1.9; 95% confidence interval 1.1–3.4) whereas the proportions of current cigarette smokers and alcohol risk drinkers without SO use were lower among individuals aged 60–79 compared to those aged 20–39. The proportion of individuals with smoking, alcohol risk drinking or SO use was also lower among those aged 60–79 compared to the 20–39 year olds.

Conclusion

Although proportions of SO users in older adult age are higher than in younger adult age there are less subjects with any of the 3 substance use behaviors at older adult age compared to age 20–39.