Sleeping pill use might be an indicator of future needs for anti-hypertensive treatment, according to a new study published in Geriatrics & Gerontology International.
For the study, researchers examined the relationship between sleep quality or duration and the use of sleeping pills with the number of anti-hypertensive drugs among 752 adults aged 60 years and older who were treated with anti-hypertensives at baseline. Participants were followed from 2008-2010 to 2012-2013.
During the follow-up period, 156 patients required an increased number of anti-hypertensive drugs. The study found there was no association between sleep duration or quality and change in anti-hypertensive drug use. However, usual sleeping pills consumption was associated with a higher risk of increasing (vs decreasing/maintaining) the number of anti-hypertensive drugs (fully adjusted OR 1.85; 95% CI 1.12-3.07; P=.017).
“The importance of this study from a clinical viewpoint is not just the association between sleeping pill use and future need of anti-hypertensive drugs, but the importance of taking sleeping pill use as a warning indicator to investigate the underlying sleep disorders or unhealthy lifestyles,” the authors said. They added, however, that further studies are required to confirm this association and elucidate underlying mechanisms.