Risk of psychiatric disorders in patients with chronic insomnia and sedative-hypnotic prescription: A nationwide population-based follow-up study

Kuo Hsuan Chung, Chung Yi Li, Shu Yu Kuo, Trevor Sithole, Wen Wei Liu, Min Huey Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)


Study Objectives: Previous epidemiological studies have established insomnia as a major risk factor for mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders. However, the associations between insomnia with sedative-hypnotic prescriptions and various psychiatric disorders have not been thoroughly examined. The current study involved evaluating the risk of psychiatric disorders, namely schizophrenia, mood, anxiety, somatoform, and substance-related disorders, over a 6-y follow-up period in three groups: patients with insomnia and sedative-hypnotic prescriptions (Inso-Hyp), those with insomnia and without sedative-hypnotic prescriptions (Inso- NonHyp), and those with neither insomnia nor sedativehypnotic prescriptions (NonInso-NonHyp). Methods: We used a historical cohort study design to compare the risk of psychiatric disorders among the three groups. Data regarding these patients were derived from reimbursement claims recorded in Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to compare the 6-y risk of subsequent psychiatric disorders among the Inso-Hyp, Inso-NonHyp, and NonInso-NonHyp groups. Results: Compared with the Inso-NonHyp and NonInso- NonHyp group patients, the Inso-Hyp group patients exhibited a higher risk of psychiatric disorders, particularly bipolar disorders (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR]: 7.60; 95% confi dence interval [CI]: 5.31-10.89 and AHR: 14.69; 95% CI: 11.11-19.43, respectively). Moreover, among the Inso-Hyp patient group, insomnia prescribed with benzodiazepine, a longer duration of sedative-hypnotic action, and higher doses of sedativehypnotics were signifi cantly associated with a higher risk of depressive and anxiety disorders. Conclusion: The Inso-Hyp group exhibited a higher risk of developing psychiatric disorders than did the Inso-NonHyp and NonInso-NonHyp groups. The results regarding patients with insomnia and sedative-hypnotic prescriptions associated with the risk of psychiatric disorders can serve as a reference for care providers when managing sleep disturbances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-551
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015



  • Anxiety disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depressive disorder
  • Insomnia
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sedative-hypnotics
  • Somatoform disorder
  • Substance-related disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology

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