Benzodiazepine, psychotropic medication, and dementia: A population-based cohort study

BACKGROUND: Benzodiazepine use has been associated with increased risk of dementia. However, it remains unclear whether the risk relates to short or long half-life benzodiazepines and whether it extends to other psychotropic drugs. METHODS: Prospective cohort study among 8240 individuals >/=65, interviewed on medication use. Incident dementia confirmed by an end point committee after a multistep procedure. RESULTS: During a mean of 8 years of follow-up, 830 incident dementia cases were observed. Users of benzodiazepines at baseline had a 10% increased risk of dementia (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.10; 95% confidence interval, 0.90-1.34). However, long half-life (>20 hours) benzodiazepine users had a marked increased risk of dementia (HR = 1.62; 1.11-2.37) compared with short half-life users (HR = 1.05; 0.85-1.30). Users of psychotropics had an increased risk of dementia (HR = 1.47; 1.16-1.86). CONCLUSIONS: Results of this large, prospective study show increased risk of dementia for long half-life benzodiazepine and psychotropic use.

  • Shash D
  • Kurth T
  • Bertrand M
  • Dufouil C
  • Barberger-Gateau P
  • Berr C
  • Ritchie K
  • Dartigues J F
  • Begaud B
  • Alperovitch A
  • Tzourio C


  • Alzheimers Dement
Nov 18;12(5):604-13