Estimation of Cessation Rates among Danish Users of Benzodiazepines

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Background: Widespread and longterm use of benzodiazepines constitute a public health problem. Health care authorities hence advice that use should not exceed three months, in particular for the elderly and patients with a past diagnosis of drug addiction.

Objectives: Estimate the shape of cessation hazards among incident users of benzodiazepines, in particular with respect to potential changes after three months use.

Methods: Follow-up on a 25% randomly selected cohort of all Danes (n = 1,612,171) in the period Jan 1, 1995, to Jul 1, 2007, identified through the Danish civil registration number (CRN), which is unique for each individual, holds information on gender and date of birth, and yields access to migration and date of death. All filled prescriptions within the cohort of a benzodiazepine (ATC codes N05BA, B03AE01, N05CD, and N05CF) were identified from the national Danish Product Statistics database and linked with individuals through CRN.
Duration of a prescription was set at three times the total number of Defined Daily Doses obtained to allow for sporadic use.
Incidence was defined as having a prescription after being present in Denmark for at least six months, and not having a still active prescription. Treatment cessation was defined to occur either due to not having a new prescription, being hospitalized, or dying while the prescription was still active - for each cause cessation rates were estimated. Emigration and end of follow-up were considered censoring events.

Results: While cessation rates increased significantly over time (HR: 1.104 (95% CI: 1.103; 1.105), p < 0.001), the estimated shape of the cessation hazard did not suggest that special attention was given to patients with a treatment duration above three months.

(This is work in progress)

Conclusions: Estimates of cessation rates should be preferred over duration, as they can explicitly account for censoring and provide cause specific hazard estimates of cessation rates.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year16 Aug 2011
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2011
Eventthe 27th International Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology & Therapeutic Risk Management - Chicago, United States
Duration: 14 Aug 201117 Aug 2011


Conferencethe 27th International Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology & Therapeutic Risk Management
CountryUnited States

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