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Psychotropic drug use and alcohol drinking in community-dwelling older Australian men: the CHAMP study

Authors

  • Jenni Ilomäki,

    Corresponding author
    • Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre, Sansom Institute, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
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  • Danijela Gnjidic,

    1. Centre for Education and Research on Ageing (CERA), Concord Hospital, Sydney, Australia
    2. Departments of Clinical Pharmacology and Aged Care, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia
    3. Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
    4. Faculty of Pharmacy, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
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  • Sarah N. Hilmer,

    1. Departments of Clinical Pharmacology and Aged Care, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia
    2. Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
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  • David G. Le Couteur,

    1. Centre for Education and Research on Ageing (CERA), Concord Hospital, Sydney, Australia
    2. Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
    3. ANZAC Research Institute, The University of Sydney, Concord Hospital, Sydney, Australia
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  • Vasi Naganathan,

    1. Centre for Education and Research on Ageing (CERA), Concord Hospital, Sydney, Australia
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  • Robert G. Cumming,

    1. School of Public Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
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  • Louise M. Waite,

    1. Centre for Education and Research on Ageing (CERA), Concord Hospital, Sydney, Australia
    2. Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
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  • Markus J. Seibel,

    1. Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
    2. ANZAC Research Institute, The University of Sydney, Concord Hospital, Sydney, Australia
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  • Fiona M. Blyth,

    1. Centre for Education and Research on Ageing (CERA), Concord Hospital, Sydney, Australia
    2. Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
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  • David J. Handelsman,

    1. Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
    2. ANZAC Research Institute, The University of Sydney, Concord Hospital, Sydney, Australia
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  • J. Simon Bell

    1. Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre, Sansom Institute, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
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Jenni Ilomäki PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Danijela Gnjidic PhD, NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow, Sarah N. Hilmer PhD, Associate Professor, David G. Le Couteur PhD, Professor, Vasi Naganathan PhD, Associate Professor, Robert G. Cumming PhD, Professor, Louise M. Waite PhD, Clinical Senior Lecturer, Markus J. Seibel PhD, Professor, Fiona M. Blyth PhD, Associate Professor, David J. Handelsman PhD, Professor, J. Simon Bell PhD, Associate Professor. Correspondence to Dr Jenni Ilomäki, Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre, Sansom Institute, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia. Tel: +61 8830 22584; Fax: +61 8830 21209; E-mail: jenni.ilomaki@unisa.edu.au

Abstract

Aim

To explore the association between psychotropic drug use and alcohol drinking in community-dwelling older Australian men.

Design and Methods

We conducted a cross-sectional population-based study using baseline data collected between 2005 and 2007 from 1705 participants in the Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project (CHAMP) conducted in Sydney, Australia. All participants were men aged 70 years. The prevalence of antidepressant and sedative or anxiolytic drug use was ascertained at clinical examinations and alcohol drinking was self-reported. Logistic regression models were used to compute the unadjusted and adjusted prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the association between sedative or anxiolytic use and antidepressant use with drinking patterns.

Results

In the study sample, 8.0% used an antidepressant, 5.7% used a sedative or anxiolytic, 33.7% were daily drinkers, 13.9% were binge drinkers, 19.2% were heavy drinkers and 11.0% were problem drinkers. Overall, 27.1% of antidepressant users were daily drinkers and 42.7% of sedative or anxiolytic users were daily drinkers. Sedative or anxiolytic use was associated with daily drinking (prevalence ratio = 1.42; 95% confidence intervals 1.09–1.76) but not with other drinking patterns. The associations between antidepressant use and alcohol drinking were not statistically significant.

Discussion and Conclusions

Potential psychotropic drug–alcohol interactions were common in older Australian men. Users of sedative or anxiolytic drugs were more likely to engage in daily drinking compared with non-users of sedative or anxiolytic drugs. Clinicians should monitor patients prescribed sedative or anxiolytic drugs for possible adverse events arising from concomitant use with alcohol.

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