The effects of becoming an entrepreneur on the use of psychotropics among entrepreneurs and their spouses

Michael S. Dahl, Jimmi Nielsen, Ramin Mojtabai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Aims: Entering entrepreneurship (i.e. becoming an entrepreneur) is known to be a demanding activity with increased workload, financial uncertainty and increased levels of stress. However, there are no systematic studies on how entering entrepreneurship affects the people involved. Methods: The authors investigated prescriptions of psychotropics for 6,221 first-time entrepreneurs from 2001—2004 and their 2,381 spouses in the first two years after becoming entrepreneurs in a matched case-control study using linked data from three Danish national registries: The Danish database for Labor Market Research, the Danish Entrepreneurship database and the Danish Prescription database. Results: Entrepreneurs were more likely to fill prescriptions at pharmacies for sedatives/hypnotics (adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 1.45 [95% CI: 1.26—1.66], p < 0001). However, they were less likely to fill prescriptions for antidepressants (AOR: 0.74 [95% CI: 0.59—0.92] p = 0.007). Spouses of these entrepreneurs were also more likely to fill prescriptions for sedatives/hypnotics (AOR: 1.36 [95% CI: 1.10—1.67], p = 0.005). No difference in prescription of antidepressants was found for spouses. Conclusions: This study showed that there was a significant relation between entering entrepreneurship and receiving prescriptions for sedative/ hypnotics both among the entrepreneurs themselves and their spouses, suggesting that entering entrepreneurship may be associated with increased stress for both the entrepreneurs and their families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)857-863
Number of pages7
JournalScandinavian journal of public health
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Entrepreneurship
  • psychotropic drugs
  • stress
  • work load

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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