Daniel Kripke Sleeping pills were recently cited to increase the risk of death. Now, scientists at Scripps Clinic have revealed that obese individuals on sleeping pills could face higher chances of encountering death.

This extensive trial constituted nearly 40,000 persons inclusive of the control group. The team found that individuals with BMI 38.8 and consuming few hypnotic drugs seemingly experienced 8.1% higher risk of mortality. In case of overweight patients receiving higher number of pills, the death risk appeared to be 9.3 folds higher, than that of control participants. Cumulatively, death chances were apparently 4.6 times higher among all the subjects irrespective of BMI.

“It is important to note that our results are based on observational data, so even though we did everything we could to ensure their validity, it’s still possible that other factors explain the associations. We hope our work will spur additional research in this area using information from other populations,” commented co-author Lawrence Kline, D.O., who is medical director of the Viterbi Family Sleep Center. Daniel Kripke, MD was one of the authors too.

The scientists are urging patients to opt for safer alternatives like rest and relaxation which allow adherence to the body’s natural clock. Sleeping pills should not be used for treating insomnia stemming from psychiatric issues, the team concluded.

The study was presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention | Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2012 Scientific Sessions in San Diego.