Saturday, 8 December 2012
Sleeping pills and risk of pneumonia
Research published in the journal Thorax has suggested that commonly prescribed sleeping tablets - benzodiazepines - are linked to increased risk of pneumonia, and to risk of 30 day and longer term mortality in patients diagnosed as having had community acquired pneumonia. Reasons are unclear however these medicines may both impair immune responses and reduce the depth of breathing, thus making it more difficult for microbes to be cleared from the lungs. Reported risk of pneumonia was more evident with longer term use of sleeping tablets.