(WKBW/ABC News) A warning if you take prescription
sleeping pills. We all know the dangers of taking too many, but a new study connects even very modest use with an increased risk of death.
Between six and ten percent of Americans use a class of sleeping pills called hypnotics, that include the popular pill, Ambien.
New research finds these pills are linked to a more-than-threefold increase in the risk of death.
Over time, patients prescribed these pills were also more likely to be
diagnosed with cancer.
The most striking of the findings is that even taking no more than eighteen pills a year increased the risk of death.
Those prescribed up to eighteen doses a year were more than three point five times as likely to die as those who didn't take any.
Patients who got between eighteen and one hundred thirty-two
doses a year were more than four times likelier to die.
The authors point out that the increased risk could come from the
sleeping pills themselves or from underlining medical problems that push people to take them.