July 29, 2019
In a group of older adults, taking sleeping pills was associated with an increase in the number of antihypertensive medications used over subsequent years. Researchers published their findings in Geriatrics & Gerontology International.
The prospective cohort study included 752 adults age 60 or older at baseline. Researchers followed participants from 2008 to 2010 through 2012 to 2013. The study recorded self-reported sleep duration, sleep quality (ease of falling asleep and staying asleep), and the use of sleeping pills at baseline. During follow-up, researchers tracked the number of antihypertensive drugs participants used.
Nearly 21% of participants increased the number of antihypertensive drugs they took over the course of the study. Although researchers found no association between sleep duration or sleep quality and change in antihypertensive drug use, they did find that regular use of sleeping pills was prospectively linked with an increased number of antihypertensive drugs used during the follow-up period.
“‘Sleeping pill use’ might be an indicator of future needs of antihypertensive treatment,” researchers concluded, “and a warning indicator to investigate underlying sleep disorders or unhealthy lifestyles.”
Hernández-Aceituno A, Guallar-Castillón P, García-Esquinas E, Rodríguez-Artalejo F, Banegas JR. Association between sleep characteristics and antihypertensive treatment in older adults. Geriatrics & Gerontology International. 2019;19(6):537-540.