Benzodiazepines may increase risk of CAP, mortality

December 19, 2012

 

Benzodiazepines, which have been associated with an increased incidence of infections in the critically ill, also may increase the risk of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and mortality following pneumonia, according to a recent report published in Thorax.

In a case-control study of approximately 29,700 controls and 5,000 patients with CAP from a U.K. patient database (2001-2002), researchers investigated the association between benzodiazepines and CAP occurrence as well as the impact of the drugs on mortality in the patients with CAP.

Eneanya Obiora, Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Nottingham, U.K., and colleagues found that use of benzodiazepines was associated with an increased risk of pneumonia (OR=1.54; 95% CI, 1.42-1.67). Diazepam, lorazepam, and temazepam were all associated with an increased incidence of CAP. In addition, this drug class was associated with increased 30-day (HR=1.22; 95% CI, 1.06-1.39) and long-term mortality (HR=1.32; 95% CI, 1.19-1.47) in patients who had a prior diagnosis of CAP.

The authors of the study suggested that further research is needed to determine the immune safety profile of benzodiazepines.

 

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