Regular use of prescribed painkillers can double the risk of obesity and sleep deprivation in a person reports a study done by the researchers of the Newcastle University of United Kingdom (UK).
The study has showed that over the past 10 years, the prescription and consumption of painkillers such as opioids and anti-depressants has largely increased for the treatment of chronic pain.
The scientists studied around 1,33,000 participants from the UK Biobank, where they calculated the inter-relation between metabolic and cardiovascular disease of the people, along with calculating the Body Mass Index (BMI), blood pressure and waist circumference.
In their findings, the scientists found that sedatives commonly used to treat pain, like opiates, doubled the risk of obesity and affected a person’s sleep.
"In the last two decades there has been a significant increase in the number of people being prescribed both opioidand non-opioid medications to treat chronic pain," said SophieCassidy, research associate at Newcastle University.
"However, this is the largest study looking at the linksbetween commonly prescribed painkillers and cardio-metabolichealth," said Cassidy.
The study also shows that people on opiates and other medications reported 95 per cent rates of higher obesity, 82 per cent ‘very high’ waist circumference and 63 per cent hypertension.
"We already know that opiates are dependency-forming butthis study also found patients taking opiates have the worsthealth. Obesity rates are much higher and the patientsreported sleeping poorly," she said.
The research suggests that these medications should be prescribed for only a shorter period of time to avoid serious health complications.
Opioids are known as the most dangerous prescribed painkillers because they are addictive.
(With PTI Inputs)