eISSN: 2449-8580
ISSN: 1734-3402
Family Medicine & Primary Care Review
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1/2019
vol. 21
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Prevalence of insomnia and use of hypnotics in seniors from the Łodz Province, Poland

Filip Bielec
,
Emilia Kamińska
,
Rafał Dudek
,
Małgorzata Koziarska-Rościszewska
,
Jacek Rysz

Family Medicine & Primary Care Review 2019; 21(1): 17–22
Online publish date: 2019/03/22
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Background
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder among older people. It is characterized by difficulty with falling asleep, problems maintaining sleep and/or waking up too early. As a result, patients may complain about physical and mental fatigue and general malaise during the day. Hence, people suffering from insomnia often look for treatment options.

Objectives
To assess the frequency of insomnia in seniors; to establish the main predisposing factors and to evaluate the pharmacotherapy.

Material and methods
The study was conducted in the group of 298 aged 60+ residents of Lodz region, Poland. An anonymous questionnaire concerning lifestyle, sleep disorders, and hypnotics use was conducted by each patient. The Athens Insomnia Scale – a standardized questionnaire to diagnose insomnia was also performed. Patients were allocated into 2 groups: with and without insomnia. Collected data were statistically analyzed with the use of the t-student and chi-square tests.

Results
25.8% of all patients were diagnosed with insomnia, and greater age, female sex, and mental or neurological disorders were found to be associated with insomnia in the elderly. Moreover, 22.8% of all patients took hypnotics despite the fact that 41.2% of them did not fulfill the criteria of insomnia. H1-blockers (32.4%) were the most often used.

Conclusions
While H1-blockers are not recommended as the first choice insomnia drugs, they are the most frequently used hypnotics. A significant group of patients take these without medical recommendation. The implementation of a simple tool for diagnosing insomnia in everyday practice would be useful.

keywords:

epidemiology, family practice, geriatrics, hypnotics and sedatives, sleep initiation and maintenance disorders

 
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