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Chronobiol Int. 2013 Mar;30(1-2):192-206. doi: 10.3109/07420528.2012.701460. Epub 2012 Oct 25.

Treatment-time regimen of hypertension medications significantly affects ambulatory blood pressure and clinical characteristics of patients with resistant hypertension.

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Bioengineering and Chronobiology Laboratories, University of Vigo, Campus Universitario, Vigo, Pontevedra, Spain.


Patients with resistant hypertension (RH) are at greater risk for stroke, renal insufficiency, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) events than are those for whom blood pressure (BP) is responsive to and well controlled by therapeutic interventions. Although all chronotherapy trials have compared the effects on BP regulation of full daily doses of medications when ingested in the morning versus at bedtime, prescription of the same medications in divided doses twice daily (BID) is frequent. Here, we investigated the influence of hypertension treatment-time regimen on the circadian BP pattern, degree of BP control, and relevant clinical and laboratory medicine parameters of RH patients evaluated by 48-h ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM). This cross-sectional study evaluated 2899 such patients (1701 men/1198 women), 64.2 ± 11.8 (mean ± SD) yrs of age, enrolled in the Hygia Project. Among the participants, 1084 were ingesting all hypertension medications upon awakening (upon-awakening regimen), 1436 patients were ingesting the full daily dose of ≥1 of them at bedtime (bedtime regimen), and 379 were ingesting split doses of ≥1 medications BID upon awakening and at bedtime (BID regimen). Patients of the bedtime regimen compared with the other two treatment-time regimens had lower likelihood of microalbuminuria and chronic kidney disease; significantly lower albumin/creatinine ratio, glucose, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol; plus higher estimated glomerular filtration rate and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. The bedtime regimen was also significantly associated with lower asleep systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) BP means than the upon-awakening and BID regimens. The sleep-time relative SBP and DBP decline was significantly attenuated by the upon-awakening and BID regimens (p < .001), resulting in significantly higher prevalence of non-dipping in these two treatment-time regimen groups (80.5% and 77.3%, respectively) than in the bedtime regimen (54.4%; p < .001 between groups). Additionally, the prevalence of the riser BP pattern, associated with highest CVD risk, was much greater, 31.0% and 29.8%, respectively, among patients of the upon-awakening and BID-treatment regimens, compared with the bedtime regimen (17.6%; p < .001 between groups). Patients of the bedtime regimen also showed significantly higher prevalence of properly controlled ambulatory BP (p < .001) as a result of a greater proportion of them showing complete control of asleep SBP and DBP means. Our findings demonstrate significantly lower asleep SBP and DBP means and attenuated prevalence of blunted nighttime BP decline, i.e., lower prevalence of CVD risk markers, in RH patients ingesting the full daily dose of ≥1 hypertension medications at bedtime than in those ingesting all of them upon awakening or ≥1 of them as split doses BID. In RH, ingesting the same medications BID neither improves ambulatory BP control nor reduces the prevalence of non-dipping, and cannot be considered chronotherapy. Collectively, findings of this study indicate that a bedtime hypertension medication regimen, in conjunction with proper patient evaluation by ABPM to corroborate the diagnosis of true RH and avoid treatment-induced nocturnal hypotension, should be the therapeutic scheme of choice for patients who, by conventional cuff methods (and in the absence of ABPM) and the morning-treatment regimen, have been mistakenly judged to be resistant to therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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