Sleeping tablets linked to increased antihypertensive use

Study results suggest that older people receiving hypertensive treatment who reported habitual use of sleeping tablets were more likely to require an increased number of antihypertensive medicines over time.

An older person's bedside

Older adults with hypertension who take sleeping tablets are more likely to receive an increased number of antihypertensive medicines over time, study results have shown (25 March 2019)[1]

The research used prospective data on 752 people aged 60 years and over who were receiving antihypertensive treatment. Their medicine use was assessed from 2008–2010 through to 2012–2013.

The results showed that, overall, 156 (20.7%) people received an increased number of antihypertensive medicines in the second time period compared with the first. The odds of this outcome were 85.0% higher in the 16.5% of people who self-reported habitual use of sleeping tablets. By contrast, there was no association between self-reported poor sleep quality or duration and antihypertensive treatment.

Noting that one in five people in the study received increased antihypertensive treatment at follow-up, the researchers said the findings were important given the link between polypharmacy and poor outcomes.

Writing in Geriatrics & Gerontology International, the authors said: “‘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.” 


[1] Hernández-Aceituno A, Guallar-Castillón P, García-Esquinas E et al. Association between sleep characteristics and antihypertensive treatment in older adults. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2019; In press. doi: 10.1111/ggi.13660

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, May 2019, Vol 11, No 5;11(5):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2019.20206441

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