CDC Sheds Light on Prescription Drug Use

Newly released data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that about 4% of U.S. adults (20 and over) used prescription sleep aids in the past month. The first-person data, collected over a 5-year period from 2005 to 2010, covers prescription sleep aid use among the non-institutionalized U.S. adult population.

Additional findings from the CDC:
• The percentage of adults using a prescription sleep aid increased with age and education. More adult women (5.0%) used prescription sleep aids than adult men (3.1%).
• Non-Hispanic white adults were more likely to use sleep aids (4.7%) than non-Hispanic black (2.5%) and Mexican-American (2.0%) adults.
• Prescription sleep aid use varied by sleep duration and was highest among adults who sleep less than 5 hours (6.0%) or sleep 9 or more hours (5.3%).
• One in six adults with a diagnosed sleep disorder and one in eight adults with trouble sleeping reported using sleep aids.

The CDC points out that no less than a tripling in sleep aid prescriptions from 1998 to 2006 occurred for young adults aged 18–24 (3). Prevalence of use from 2005-2010 was lowest among the youngest age group (aged 20–39) at about 2%, increasing to 6% among those aged 50–59, and 7% among those aged 80 and over.

Broken down by ethnicity and gender, researchers found that prescription sleep aid use in the past 30 days was higher among women (5.0%) than men (3.1%). Non-Hispanic white adults reported higher use of sleep aids (4.7%) than non-Hispanic black (2.5%) and Mexican-American (2.0%) adults. No difference was shown between non-Hispanic black adults and Mexican-American adults in use of prescription sleep aids.

Click here to see key findings additional information from the CDC webiste

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