(HealthDay News) – Among patients with resistant hypertension and obstructive sleep apnea, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment significantly improves blood pressure and the nocturnal blood pressure pattern, according to a study published in the Dec. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Noting that >70% of patients with hypertension also have obstructive sleep apnea, Miguel-Angel Martínez-García, MD, PhD, from Hospital Universitario y Politécnico La Fe in Valencia, Spain, and colleagues randomly assigned 194 patients with resistant hypertension and obstructive sleep apnea to CPAP or no treatment while maintaining their usual blood pressure control medication.

After 12 weeks, the researchers found that the CPAP group had a significantly greater improvement in 24-hour mean blood pressure (by 3.1mmHg; P=0.02) and 24-hour diastolic blood pressure (by 3.2mmHg; P=0.005) but not in 24-hour systolic blood pressure (by 3.1mmHg; P=0.1). A significantly higher percent of the CPAP group also displayed a nocturnal blood pressure dipper pattern (35.9% vs. 21.6%; adjusted odds ratio, 2.4). More hours of CPAP use were associated with a significantly greater decrease in 24-hour mean blood pressure, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure.

“Among patients with obstructive sleep apnea and resistant hypertension, CPAP treatment for 12 weeks compared with control resulted in a decrease in 24-hour mean and diastolic blood pressure and an improvement in the nocturnal blood pressure pattern,” Martínez-Garcia and colleagues conclude.

The study was partly funded by a grant from Philips-Respironics.

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