Cardiovascular risk of resistant hypertension: dependence on treatment-time regimen of blood pressure-lowering medications

Chronobiol Int. 2013 Mar;30(1-2):340-52. doi: 10.3109/07420528.2012.701455. Epub 2012 Oct 19.


In resistant hypertension, ingesting one or more blood pressure (BP)-lowering medications at bedtime is associated with significant reduction of sleep-time BP, a sensitive prognostic marker of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. This randomized trial investigated if bedtime therapy with at least one hypertension medication exerts better BP control and CVD risk reduction than conventional, morning-time therapy with all medications. We conducted a prospective, open-label, blinded-endpoint trial on 776 patients (387 men/389 women) with resistant hypertension, 61.6 ± 11.2 (mean ± SD) yrs of age. Patients were randomized to ingest all their prescribed hypertension medications upon awakening or ≥1 of them at bedtime. BP was measured by ambulatory monitoring for 48 h at baseline, and again annually or more frequently (quarterly) if treatment adjustment was required. After a median follow-up of 5.4 yrs (range, .5-8.5 yrs), participants ingesting ≥1 hypertension medications at bedtime showed a significantly lower hazard ratio (HR) of total CVD events (adjusted by age, sex, and diabetes) than those ingesting all medications upon awakening (.38 [95% CI: .27-.55]; number of events 102 vs. 41; p < .001). The difference between groups in the adjusted HR of major CVD events (a composite of CVD death, myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, and hemorrhagic stroke) was also statistically significant (.35 [95% CI: .18-.68]; number of events 32 vs. 12; p = .002). At the last evaluation, patients treated with the bedtime versus awakening-time-treatment regimen showed significantly lower sleep-time systolic/diastolic BP mean values (121.6/65.4 vs. 113.0/61.1 mm Hg; p < .001) and higher prevalence of controlled ambulatory BP (61% vs. 46%; p < .001). The progressive decrease in the sleep-time systolic BP mean during follow-up was the most significant predictor of event-free survival (15% risk reduction per 5 mm Hg decreased asleep systolic BP mean). Among patients with resistant hypertension, ingestion of at least one hypertension medication at bedtime, compared with all medications upon waking, resulted in improved ambulatory BP control and fewer hard and soft CVD events.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actigraphy
  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis*
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antihypertensive Agents