Benzodiazepines Associated With 3.5x Greater Dementia Risk


Researchers in the U.K. find in a 22-year prospective study of 1134 men, 103 of whom took benzodiazepines regularly for one or more period of the study, that benzodiazepine use was associated with a more than tripled risk of dementia. This effect was observed even after adjustment for psychological distress and other covariables.

Abstract → Gallacher, J., Elwood, P., et. al; Benzodiazepine Use and Risk of Dementia: Evidence from the Caerphilly Prospective Study (CaPS). Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 2012; 66:869-893

Benzodiazepine Use Linked With Development of Dementia (Pulse)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. With any other medication, and increased risk like this would result in pulling the products from the market. With antidepressants the risk for death in older patients is substantial. From a blog by paul Andrewa et al. on this site :
    “In the study published in the British Medical Journal, antidepressants were estimated to cause 10 to 44 deaths out of a 1000 people over a year, depending on the type of antidepressant. In comparison, the painkiller Vioxx was taken off the market in the face of evidence that it caused 7 cardiac events out of 1000 people over a year. Since cardiac events are not necessarily fatal, the number of deaths estimated to be caused by antidepressants is arguably of much greater concern.”

    Why is nothing done to forbid marketing of these products?

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