According to researchers, blood pressure meds administered at night can greatly lower the risk of developing diabetes. This fact was proven following 2 trials conducted at the University of Vigo, in Pontevedra, Spain.
In the first study, published in the journal Diabetologia, scientists aimed to discover if diabetes risk is more closely linked to heightened blood pressure while sleeping or awake.
1,292 men and 1,364 women, aged between 36 and 65, were included in the research. None of the subjects had diabetes and their blood pressure levels were between average values and hypertension. Based on a follow-up which took place 6 years after the initial assessment, it was determined that 190 of the individuals had developed type 2 diabetes.
After adjusting other factors such as waist circumference, chronic kidney disease, age, glucose and hypertension medication, scientists discovered that heightened blood pressure during the night could point to an increased risk of becoming diabetic. In contrast, levels of blood pressure monitored during the day bore no relevance to the likelihood of diabetes onset.
The other study, which was also published in the Diabetologia journal, surveyed 976 men and 1,036 women, with a similar age as in the prior test. They were divided into two groups, which either took blood pressure drugs at night or in the morning. Patients took ACE inhibitors, beta blockers or angiotension-receptor blockers. After 6 years, 171 of the subjects now had type 2 diabetes.
When adjusting other contributing factors, experts were struck by the fact that patients who had been administered hypertension medication before bed had much more sustained drops in their blood pressure during the night.
Normally, most people experience lower blood pressure while asleep, but those who had ingested medication in the morning had much smaller dips in their readings, which made them more susceptible to potentially harmful effects. According to estimations, they had a 57% higher likelihood of developing diabetes, in comparison with those participants who had taken the drugs at night.
“Lowering asleep blood pressure, a novel therapeutic target requiring blood pressure evaluation, could be a significant method for reducing new-onset diabetes risk”, explained the researchers.
As a result, experts recommend changing the time of ingesting hypertension medicine, because not only does this zero-cost decision ward off diabetes, but it has also been proven to lower “cardiovascular morbidity and mortality”.
According to estimations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around one in three adult Americans have high blood pressure. Even more worryingly, only half of these 70 million people keep their condition under control, and 1 in 5 hypertensive patients are undiagnosed.
Hypertension is the primary or contributing cause of 1,000 deaths each day, and increases the risk for heart attack, stroke, chronic heart failure and kidney disease. Moreover, high blood pressure costs the U.S. $46 billion on a yearly basis, due to medical services, hypertension drugs and missed days of work as a result of this condition.
This is not the first time that a link has been established between night patterns and diabetes. Former studies have shown that disruption of circadian rhythms due to sleep apnea, shift work or sleep deprivation greatly increases the risk of developing the condition.
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