- Hypertension and knee osteoarthritis (OA) are frequent comorbidities. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often used to relieve pain in such patients. In the last decade selective NSAIDs are used more commonly since they lead to less gastrointestinal complications. As has been shown, the treatment with NSAIDs may cause a mild rise of arterial blood pressure (BP). The influence of selective NSAIDs on BP, particularly in hypertensive patients has still to be investigated. The aim of this study was to determine arterial BP changes in patients suffering from stable arterial hypertension and knee OA and treated with rofecoxib or nabumetone. Two groups of patients with knee OA and stable arterial hypertension received either 25 mg rofecoxib once daily or namebutone 2000 mg once daily during the first week of treatment and 1000 mg for the following 3 weeks. Twenty-four hour arterial BP monitoring was performed prior to initiation of treatment and at the end of a 4-week period. The results were that no changes were found in the mean systolic and diastolic characteristics of BP in the rofecoxib treatment group during day time (delta systolic BP -0.4 mm Hg and delta diastolic BP -0.4 mm Hg), while nocturnal BP increased significantly: delta systolic BP +15.7 mm Hg and delta diastolic BP +8.5 mm Hg. The mean systolic arterial pressure in the nabumeton group raised delta systolic BP 2.9 mm Hg in the daytime and 5 mm Hg during the night-time after the treatment. The mean diastolic arterial pressure also rose delta diastolic 3.2 mm Hg and 4.9 mm Hg at day and night hours respectively. In conclusion rofecoxib treatment did not change arterial BP during day time hours, however, there was a distinct increase in night-time systolic and diastolic BP leading to a disappearance of the physiological diurnal variation. Nabumetone caused a moderate increase of day and night BP, without changes in biological diurnal variation.