In recent days, many individuals depend on sleeping pills to attain a peaceful night’s sleep. However, a study by scientists at Scripps Clinic has revealed that persons consuming sleeping pills may face a greater risk of death.

The team also found that cancer cases seemingly spiked amidst regular pill users. For the study, persons consuming commonly used hypnotic drugs were pitted against a control group that did not receive sleep-inducing medications.

“We tried every practical strategy to make these associations go away, thinking that they could be due to use by people with more health problems, but no matter what we did the associations with higher mortality held,” cited co-author Robert D. Langer, MD, MPH, of the Jackson Hole Center for Preventive Medicine in Jackson, Wyoming.

The outcomes of the trial showed that people who consumed about 1 to 18 sleeping pills in a year apparently carried 3.6-folds higher mortality risk, as compared to their control counterparts. Moreover, persons who received nearly 132 hypnotic doses in 1 year seemed to have 35% higher risk of encountering cancer.

The study was conducted among people aged 18 and higher, where the increased risk appeared to be significant across all age-groups. Essentially, the results put forward an association between sleeping pills and increased risk of death, cancer or other diseases. However, the scientists cautioned that there could also be other reasons for the elevated risk of death or cancer observed in the subjects.

The findings are published in the journal, BMJ Open.