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Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2019 Mar 25. doi: 10.1111/ggi.13660. [Epub ahead of print]

Association between sleep characteristics and antihypertensive treatment in older adults.

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Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, University Autonoma of Madrid/Research Institute of University Hospital La Paz (IdiPAZ) and Network Biomedical Research Center of Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain.



The relationship between sleeping characteristics and antihypertensive medication is little known. We examined the association of sleep quality or duration and the use of sleeping pills with the number of antihypertensive drugs used in older adults.


This was a prospective cohort study of treated hypertensive patients aged ≥60 years participating in a seniors cohort, followed from 2008 to 2010 through 2012 to 2013. Self-reported sleep duration, sleep quality (usually having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep) and sleeping pills use were ascertained at baseline, and the change in the number of antihypertensive drugs (active agents) between 2008-2010 and 2012-2013 was calculated. Analyses were carried out with logistic regression, and adjusted for demographics, lifestyle, comorbidity, baseline number of antihypertensive drugs and hypertension control.


Among the 752 participants at baseline (mean age 69.9 years, 49.2% men), the mean sleep duration was 6.9 h/day, 37% had poor sleep quality, 16.5% usually consumed sleeping pills and the mean number of antihypertensive drugs was 1.8. During the follow-up period, 156 (20.7%) patients increased the number of antihypertensive drugs. No association was found between sleep duration or quality and the change in antihypertensive drug use. Usual sleeping pills consumption was associated with a higher risk of increasing (vs decreasing/maintaining) the number of antihypertensive drugs (odds ratio 1.85; 95% confidence interval 1.12-3.07, P-value 0.02).


Consumption of sleeping pills was prospectively linked to an increased number of antihypertensive drugs. "Sleeping pill use" might be an indicator of future needs of antihypertensive treatment, and a warning indicator to investigate underlying sleep disorders or unhealthy lifestyles. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2019; ••: ••-••.


antihypertensive drugs; blood pressure; elderly; hypertension; sleep


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