Trend of blood pressure in hypertensive and normotensive volunteers during Ramadan fasting

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Abstract

Introduction

It is believed that Ramadan fasting regulates blood pressure, heart rate, and other cardiovascular risk factors. This study aimed to investigate the effect of Ramadan fasting on ambulatory blood pressure in hypertensive patients.

Patients and methods

This prospective, observational study was carried out in two groups: one group included hypertensive patients treated with two antihypertensive agents (n=6) and the other group included healthy individuals (n=12). We performed 24-h blood pressure monitoring at four time points: before Ramadan, during the first and last 10 days of Ramadan, and 1 month after Ramadan. All hypertensive patients followed their twice-daily treatment regimen. Mean 24-h blood pressure (as well as mean blood pressure values during awake and sleep periods), body weight, and waist circumference were measured in the two groups.

Results

There were no significant differences in the trends of systolic and diastolic blood pressure between the hypertensive and nonhypertensive groups during Ramadan and 1 month after it. However, the trends of variations in heart rate and body weight were not significantly different in the two groups (P<0.001 and P=0.016, respectively). There was a significant increase in heart rate during the first period of Ramadan in hypertensive patients (P=0.018), whereas it improved during the post-Ramadan period in comparison with the second period of measurements (P=0.019). Furthermore, there was a significant decline in heart rate during the post-Ramadan measurement compared with that before Ramadan in the nonhypertensive group (P=0.008).

Results

In addition, there was a significant weight gain in the third period in comparison with the previous period in the hypertensive group (73.1±11 vs. 72.2±12; P=0.011).

Conclusion

This finding indicates that Ramadan fasting might be nonthreatening for patients with essential hypertension if the treatment regimen is complied with.

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