Decreasing sleep-time blood pressure determined by ambulatory monitoring reduces cardiovascular risk

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011 Sep 6;58(11):1165-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2011.04.043.


Objectives: We investigated whether reduced cardiovascular risk is more related to the progressive decrease of asleep or awake blood pressure.

Background: Independent studies have concluded that elevated sleep-time blood pressure is a better predictor of cardiovascular risk than awake or 24-h blood pressure means. However, the impact on cardiovascular risk of changes in these ambulatory blood pressure characteristics has not been properly investigated.

Methods: We prospectively studied 3,344 subjects (1,718 men and 1,626 women), 52.6 ± 14.5 years of age, during a median follow-up of 5.6 years. Those with hypertension at baseline were randomized to ingest all their prescribed hypertension medications upon awakening or ≥1 of them at bedtime. Blood pressure was measured for 48 h at baseline and again annually or more frequently (quarterly) if treatment adjustment was required.

Results: With data collected at baseline, when asleep blood pressure was adjusted by awake mean, only the former was a significant predictor of outcome in a Cox proportional hazards model also adjusted for sex, age, and diabetes. Analyses of changes in ambulatory blood pressure during follow-up revealed a 17% reduction in cardiovascular risk for each 5-mm Hg decrease in asleep systolic blood pressure mean (p < 0.001), independently of changes in any other ambulatory blood pressure parameter.

Conclusions: The sleep-time blood pressure mean is the most significant prognostic marker of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Most importantly, the progressive decrease in asleep blood pressure, a novel therapeutic target that requires proper patient evaluation by ambulatory monitoring, was the most significant predictor of event-free survival. (Prognostic Value of Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring in the Prediction of Cardiovascular Events and Effects of Chronotherapy in Relation to Risk [the MAPEC Study]; NCT00295542).

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Spain / epidemiology


  • Antihypertensive Agents

Associated data