||PURPOSE: Results from a number of studies have suggested a relationship between cognitive alteration and benzodiazepine use in the elderly. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of benzodiazepine use on cognitive functions in a young adult population. METHODS: This study included 1,019 French salaried workers from the VISAT (Aging, Health and Work) cohort whose objective was to determine the long-term impact of working conditions on health and aging. Data were collected during interviews by occupational physicians in 1996, 2001 and 2006. Cognitive function was assessed using five cognitive tests (immediate free recall test, delayed free recall test, recognition test, Digit Symbol Substitution Subtest and visual search speed test). Cognitive scores obtained after a 10-year follow-up were investigated among three categories of benzodiazepine users, namely, non-users, occasional users and long-term users, using analysis of covariance models adjusted for several potential confounders in men and women separately. RESULTS: In the course of the 10 year-follow-up, 3.9% of subjects were defined as occasional users of benzodiazepine and 7.5% as long-term users. The analysis revealed a significant alteration of long-term memory in women whereas there was no significant association in men. CONCLUSIONS: Long-term use of benzodiazepine leads to specific impairment in long-term memory only in women.