Cardiovascular diseases: a therapeutic perspective around the clock

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Cardiovascular disease therapy still faces major challenges, e.g. high interpatient variability. • Circadian fluctuations regulate the cardiovascular system, e.g. blood pressure. • Circadian timing system disruption has been associated with cardiovascular disease. • New therapeutic strategies such as chronotherapy could improve patient care.

 Biological rhythms are a ubiquitous feature of life. Most bodily functions, including physiological, biochemical, and behavioral processes, are coupled by the circadian rhythm. In the cardiovascular system, circadian fluctuations regulate several functions, namely heart rate, blood pressure, cardiac contractility, and metabolism. In fact, current lifestyles impose external timing constraints that clash with our internal circadian physiology, often increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Still, the mechanisms of dysregulation are not fully understood because this is a growing area of research. In this review, we explore the modulatory role of the circadian rhythms on cardiovascular function and disease as well as the role of chronotherapy in the context of CVD and how such an approach could improve existing therapies and assist in the development of new ones.

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