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Almost 1 quarter of Spanish women take antidepressants
Date:7/23/2009

Psychopharmaceutical use has risen over recent years. This is fact, but what is not clear is the reason why. Researchers from four Madrid-based health centres have shown that family conflict is not a significant factor. However, the results published in the journal Atencin Primaria are striking: in Spain, 24% of women take antidepressants and more than 30% take tranquillisers.

"The use of psychopharmaceuticals is often related to family or work-related problems. We wanted to see if there was actually a positive link between the consumption of antidepressants and benzodiazepines and any kind of family dysfunction", Sonsoles Prez, lead author of the study published in the renowned journal Atencin Primaria, and a doctor at the Las guilas Health Centre in Madrid, tells SINC.

The authors studied 121 women aged between 25 and 65, using family dysfunction surveys (the Apgar test), and the additive scale used to evaluate social readjustment (SLE). The psychopharmaceuticals analysed were antidepressants and benzodiazepines (anxiolytics such as lorazepam and bromazepam).

"Although one might think that family conflicts lead to greater consumption of psychopharmaceuticals among women, we did not find any such relationship", the researcher says, adding that the use of such drugs depends a lot on the population segment taking them. "Some people with family, work-related or financial problems do not feel able to tackle their problems and fall back on the use of drugs", Prez points out.

The results show that 24% of women in Spain use antidepressants and 30.6%, benzodiazepines, which are sometimes also used to help people sleep. In 78.6% of cases, these drugs are prescribed in primary health centres. The diagnosis is recorded in the patient's medical records in 64.5% of cases, with the primary causes being depression (11.6%), anxiety (9.9%) and insomnia (3.3%).

The scientists also found that benzodiazepine use increase
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Contact: SINC
info@plataformasinc.es
34-914-251-820
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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