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Insomnia patients often denied sleep treatment when they have mental health conditions
Date:2/4/2008

earch highlights the need to take into account that many patients who see their doctors with complaints of insomnia also have a psychiatric condition. But the presence of those mental conditions should not preclude them from being appropriately treated for their insomnia, he said.

The study is published in the January issue of the Journal of Medical Economics.

Balkrishnan and colleagues collected data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, which tracks Americans annual outpatient medical visits. The researchers identified 5,487 physician visits by patients with insomnia between 1995 and 2004, which was calculated to represent about 161 million U.S. patients over that 10-year period.

According to the analysis, an estimated 6.5 million Americans who saw a doctor for insomnia also were diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Of the visits examined, 38 percent of patients with insomnia were diagnosed with at least one other condition, and at least four of every 10 of those accompanying conditions related to mental health. The most common additional condition was anxiety (15.6 percent), followed by episodic mood disorders (14.9 percent), high blood pressure (10.1 percent), depression (7 percent) and diabetes (3.5 percent).

The study showed that insomnia patients with mental health disorders were 36 percent less likely to receive medication for their sleeping problems than were patients without the mental health diagnosis. Those with anxiety were the least likely to receive a sleep aid, with a 45 percent decreased likelihood of receiving medication for insomnia compared to patients without anxiety.

Balkrishnan said that with generic forms of nonaddictive insomnia medication available by prescription, even patients taking antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs can safely and affordably add a sleep aid to their regimen. The most common forms of antidepressants prescribed in the United States are a class of drugs cal
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Contact: Rajesh Balkrishnan
Balkrishnan.1@osu.edu
614-292-6415
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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