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Hypertension. 2008 Jan;51(1):69-76. Epub 2007 Oct 29.

Chronotherapy improves blood pressure control and reverts the nondipper pattern in patients with resistant hypertension.

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1
Bioengineering and Chronobiology Laboratories, University of Vigo, Campus Universitario, Vigo, Spain. rhermida@uvigo.es

Abstract

Therapeutic strategies in resistant hypertension include adding another drug or changing drugs in search for a better synergic combination. Most patients, however, receive all of their drugs in a single morning dose. We have evaluated the impact on the circadian pattern of blood pressure on modifying the time of treatment without increasing the number of prescribed drugs. We studied 250 hypertensive patients who were receiving 3 antihypertensive drugs in a single morning dose. Patients were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups according to the modification in their treatment strategy: changing 1 of the drugs but keeping all 3 in the morning or the same approach but administering the new drug at bedtime. Blood pressure was measured for 48 hours before and after 12 weeks of treatment. There was no effect on ambulatory blood pressure when all of the drugs were taken on awakening. The baseline prevalence of nondipping (79%) was slightly increased after treatment (86%; P=0.131). The ambulatory blood pressure reduction was statistically significant (9.4/6.0 mm Hg for systolic/diastolic blood pressure; P<0.001) with 1 drug at bedtime. This reduction was larger in the nocturnal than in the diurnal mean of blood pressure. Thus, whereas only 16% of the patients in this group were dippers at baseline, 57% were dippers after therapy (P<0.001). Results indicate that, in resistant hypertension, time of treatment may be more important for blood pressure control and for the proper modeling of the circadian blood pressure pattern than just changing the drug combination.

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