Mortality in older adults with frequent alcohol consumption and use of drugs with addiction potential – The Nord Trøndelag Health Study 2006-2008 (HUNT3), Norway, a population-based study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPLOS ONE. 2019, 14 (4), . 10.1371/journal.pone.0214813
Background The aim of this study was to investigate whether frequent drinking, use of drugs with addiction potential and the possible combination of frequent drinking and use of prescribed drugs with addiction potential were associated with all-cause mortality in older adults. Methods We used data from the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT3 2006–08), a population-based study in Norway. A total of 11,545 (6,084 women) individuals 65 years and older at baseline participated. We assessed frequent drinking (≥ 4 days a week), occasional drinking (i.e. a few times a year), never drinking and non-drinking in the last year. Drugs with addiction potential were defined as at least one prescription of benzodiazepines, z-hypnotics or opioids during one year for a minimum of two consecutive years between 2005 and 2009. This information was drawn from the Norwegian Prescription Database. The main outcome was all-cause mortality with information drawn from the Norwegian Cause of Death Registry. Follow-up continued until death or latest at 31 December 2013. Logistic regression analyses were used to investigate all-cause mortality since date of study entry and exact age at time of death was unknown. Results The adjusted logistic regression analyses showed that frequent drinking was not associated with all-cause mortality compared to occasional drinking. Men who reported to be never drinkers and non-drinkers in the last year had higher odds of mortality compared to those who drank occasionally. Use of prescribed drugs with addiction potential was associated with increased mortality in men, but not in women. No association was found between the possible combination of frequent drinking and use of prescribed drugs with addiction potential and mortality. Conclusion Neither frequent drinking nor the possible combination of frequent drinking and use of prescribed drugs with addiction potential were associated with all-cause mortality in older women and men. Use of prescribed drugs with addiction potential was associated with higher odds of mortality in men. This finding should lead to more caution in prescribing drugs with addiction potential to this group.