To assess health-related quality of life (HRQoL) associated with insomnia and prescription hypnotic use.
Primary outcomes were mental component summary (MCS) and physical component summary (PCS) scores from the 12-item Short-Form Health Survey. Using multiple regression, subjects in the 2005 through 2009 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey with diagnosed insomnia were compared against those without that diagnosis. Among subjects with diagnosed insomnia, users of prescription hypnotics were compared against nonusers.
Of 104,274 adults, 1.3 % (n = 1,401) had an insomnia diagnosis. Of those, 45.6 % (n = 639) used prescription hypnotics. For subjects with insomnia, mean PCS and MCS scores were 9.2 and 7.0 points lower (p < 0.001), respectively. After controlling for demographic and clinical covariates, differences remained significant (PCS:5.1; MCS:6.2; p < 0.001). Among subjects with insomnia, HRQoL scores were not different between prescription hypnotic users (n = 639) and nonusers (n = 762). Analysis by drug class revealed lower PCS scores (difference: 7.5, p < 0.001) with benzodiazepine use (n = 129) versus benzodiazepine receptor agonist use (n = 493), but the adjusted difference was not significant (difference: 3.8, p = .018).
Diagnosed insomnia was associated with consistent decreases in both physical and mental HRQoL scores, regardless of whether prescription hypnotics were used. Benzodiazepine use may be associated with a further decrease in physical HRQoL scores. Although limited by its retrospective design, this study provides a first look at real-world hypnotic use outcomes at a national level. Important next steps include studies with patients serving as their own controls, and further evaluation of the sensitivity of HRQoL instruments to the effects of insomnia treatments.