24pct of women take antidepressants, says Spanish study

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Washington, July 24 (ANI): In Spain, 24 percent of women take antidepressants and more than 30 percent take tranquillisers, a new study has found.

"The use of psychopharmaceuticals is often related to family or work-related problems. We wanted to see if there was actually a positive link between the consumption of antidepressants and benzodiazepines and any kind of family dysfunction", Sonsoles Pérez, lead author of the study and a doctor at the Las Águilas Health Centre in Madrid, tells SINC.

Pérez and colleagues examined 121 women aged between 25 and 65, using family dysfunction surveys (the Apgar test), and the additive scale used to evaluate social readjustment (SLE).

The psychopharmaceuticals analysed were antidepressants and benzodiazepines (anxiolytics such as lorazepam and bromazepam).

"Although one might think that family conflicts lead to greater consumption of psychopharmaceuticals among women, we did not find any such relationship", the researcher said.

They also said that the use of such drugs depends a lot on the population segment taking them.

"Some people with family, work-related or financial problems do not feel able to tackle their problems and fall back on the use of drugs", Pérez said.

The results show that 24 percent of women in Spain use antidepressants and 30.6 percent, benzodiazepines, which are sometimes also used to help people sleep.

In 78.6 percent of cases, these drugs are prescribed in primary health centres. The diagnosis is recorded in the patient's medical records in 64.5 percent of cases, with the primary causes being depression (11.6 percent), anxiety (9.9 percent) and insomnia (3.3 percent).

The researchers also found that benzodiazepine use increases with age. However, they did not find the same with antidepressant use.

"We think that greater training is needed in identifying SLE and family dysfunction, and recording these in patients' records in order to help psychologists, psychiatrists and primary healthcare specialists", Pérez said.

The study has been published in the renowned journal Atención Primaria. (ANI)

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