A randomized controlled study of CPAP effect on plasma aldosterone concentration in patients with resistant hypertension and obstructive sleep apnea

J Hypertens. 2014 Aug;32(8):1650-7; discussion 1657. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000000238.


Objective: The high prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea in patients with resistant hypertension could be mediated by an activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. This study assessed the impact of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment on plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC).

Methods: One hundred and twenty-four patients with resistant hypertension were assessed, and those who fulfilled inclusion criteria (n = 116) underwent full night polysomnography, 24-h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, and PAC measurement. Patients with an apnea-hypopnea index above 15 (n = 102) were randomized to CPAP (n = 50) or to conventional treatment (n = 52) for 3 months.

Results: Seventy-eight patients completed the follow-up (36 CPAP, 42 conventional treatment); 58 had true resistant hypertension (74.3%), whereas 20 had white-coat resistant hypertension (25.6%). Most patients were men (70.7%), age 58.3 ± 9.4 years, and the mean apnea-hypopnea index was 50.1 ± 21.6. In patients with true resistant hypertension, CPAP achieved a significant decrease in most 24-h BP measurements and a nonsignificant decrease in PAC (25 ± 8.7 vs. 22.7 ± 9 ng/dl; P < 0.182). In patients with white-coat resistant hypertension, CPAP achieved a significant decrease in PAC (26.1 ± 11.2 vs. 18.9 ± 10.1 ng/dl; P < 0.041) and in night-time DBP. After adjustment, a weak but significant association was found between cumulative time spent with SaO2 below 90% (CT90%) and baseline PAC (P < 0.047, R 0.019), and between changes in PAC and changes in office DBP (P < 0.020, R 0.083) CONCLUSIONS:: Night-time hypoxemia and changes in DBP showed an association with baseline and changes in PAC, respectively. CPAP achieved a significant reduction in PAC only in patients with white-coat resistant hypertension, although the CPAP effect on BP was highest in patients with true resistant hypertension.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aldosterone / blood*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure*
  • Drug Resistance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / blood*
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renin / blood
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / blood*


  • Aldosterone
  • Renin