Study also found heightened odds for heart trouble in patients taking benzodiazepine sleep aids
Existing Heart Problems Worsened by Sleeping Pills?
A new study from the European Society of Cardiology suggests that heart failure patients who use sleeping pills may be heightening their cardiac concerns, or worse yet, even causing death.
“Sleeping problems are a frequent side effect of heart failure and it is common for patients to be prescribed sleeping pills when they are discharged from hospital,” study author Dr. Masahiko Setoguchi explained in a news release from the European Society of Cardiology. “Given that many heart failure patients have difficulty sleeping, this is an issue that needs further investigation in larger studies.”
According to a summary, a Japanese team examined the medical records of 111 heart failure patients admitted to a Tokyo hospital from 2011 to 2013. The patients were followed for up to 180 days after they left the hospital. “Patients who took sleeping pills — drugs called benzodiazepine hypnotics — were eight times more likely to be readmitted to hospital for heart failure or to die from heart-related causes than those who did not take sleeping pills, the researchers found”.
Heart failure patients “who use sleeping pills, particularly those who have sleep-disordered breathing, should be carefully monitored,” Setoguchi concluded.
“The results from this small, single-center study raise a potential alarm about the use of benzodiazepines in a heart failure population,” added Dr. Sean Pinney, director of the advanced heart failure and cardiac transplant program at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
For full press release click here
Source: European Society of Cardiology