A recent study warns that older adults who frequently use sleeping medications may raise their risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.
The authors say that sleep aids are commonly used by older adults, but their frequent use could have negative consequences. The study found that older white adults who reported using sleep aids “often” or “almost always” had a 79% higher chance of developing dementia compared to those who “never” or “rarely” used them.
However, the connection was only seen in white participants and not in Black participants. The lead author, Yue Leng, emphasized that the study “cannot prove causation” and further research is needed to confirm the link between sleep medications and dementia risk.
Additionally, Percy Griffin, director of scientific engagement with the Alzheimer’s Association, advised caution and a conversation with a doctor before taking any sleep medication.
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