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July 2019 (Vol. 4 Issue 5)

Sleeping pills linked to high blood pressure
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Sleeping pills linked to high blood pressure image

People who regularly take a sleeping pill are more likely to develop high blood pressure—and that means they are also in line to take another pharmaceutical, the antihypertensive drug.

So do sleeping pills cause high blood pressure (hypertension), or is it all part of an unhealthy lifestyle pattern where poor sleep and high blood pressure go together?

Nobody is sure, but researchers suspect sleeping pills could be playing a significant part because people already taking an antihypertensive are more likely to increase the dose, or take a second drug, if they are also taking a pill for their insomnia.

Researchers from University Autonoma of Madrid looked at the sleeping habits and medications of 752 people who were aged 60 and older. Nearly 40 per cent slept poorly, and around 17 per cent regularly took a sleeping pill—and during the lifetime of the study, 156 of the participants increased the number of antihypertensives they were taking.

From that, the researchers estimate that people taking a sleeping pill were 85 per cent more likely to increase the dose of their antihypertensive medication.


References

(Source: Geriatrics & Gerontology International, 2019; doi: 10.1111/ggi.13660)

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