Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Poor sleep quality increases risk of high blood pressure

Date:
August 30, 2011
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
A reduced level of dreamless, deep sleep is a powerful predictor for developing high blood pressure in older men, according to new research. High quality sleep is as important to health as diet and exercise.

Reduced slow wave sleep (SWS) is a powerful predictor for developing high blood pressure in older men, according to new research in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association.

SWS, one of the deeper stages of sleep, is characterized by non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) from which it's difficult to awaken. It's represented by relatively slow, synchronized brain waves called delta activity on an electroencephalogram. Researchers from the Outcomes of Sleep Disorders in Older Men Study (MrOs Sleep Study) found that people with the lowest level of SWS had an 80 percent increased risk of developing high blood pressure.

"Our study shows for the first time that poor quality sleep, reflected by reduced slow wave sleep, puts individuals at significantly increased risk of developing high blood pressure, and that this effect appears to be independent of the influence of breathing pauses during sleep," said Susan Redline, M.D., the study's co-author and Peter C. Farrell Professor of Sleep Medicine in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass.

Men who spent less than 4 percent of their sleep time in SWS were significantly more likely to develop high blood pressure during the 3.4 years of the study. Men with reduced SWS had generally poorer sleep quality as measured by shorter sleep duration and more awakenings at night and had more severe sleep apnea than men with higher levels of SWS. However, of all measures of sleep quality, decreased SWS was the most strongly associated with the development of high blood pressure. This relationship was observed even after considering other aspects of sleep quality.

Participant's average body mass index was 26.4 kg/m2. But the study effects of SWS were independent of obesity and continued to be seen after considering the effects of obesity.

The researchers conducted comprehensive and objective evaluation of sleep characteristics related to high blood pressure in 784 men who didn't have hypertension. They were studied in their own homes using standardized in-home sleep studies, or polysomnography, with measurement of brain wave activity distinguishing between REM and non-REM sleep, and sleep apnea through measurement of breathing disturbances and level of oxygenation during sleep.

Using a central Sleep Reading Center directed by Redline, the researchers assessed a wide range of measurements of sleep disturbances, such as frequency of breathing disturbances, time in each sleep state, number of nighttime awakenings, and sleep duration.

The participants were an average 75 years old and almost 90 percent were Caucasian. All were healthy and living in one of six communities, geographically representative of the United States: San Diego, Calif.; Palo Alto, Calif.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Portland, Oregon. The study was coordinated by California Pacific Medical Center.

Generally, older men and women are more likely to develop high blood pressure than younger people. Sleep disorders and poor quality sleep are more common in older adults than in younger ones. Obesity is also associated with hypertension, researchers said.

In the Sleep Heart Health Study, another large cohort study, researchers found that men were more likely to have less SWS than women. Men were also at an increased risk of high blood pressure when compared to women. The current study raises the possibility that poorer sleep in men may partly explain the male gender predisposition to high blood pressure.

"Although women were not included in this study, it's quite likely that those who have lower levels of slow wave sleep for any number of reasons may also have an increased risk of developing high blood pressure," Redline said.

Slow wave sleep has been implicated in learning and memory with recent data also highlighting its importance to a variety of physiological functions, including metabolism and diabetes, and neurohormonal systems affecting the sympathetic nervous system that contribute to high blood pressure, researchers said.

Good quality sleep is the third pillar of health, Redline said. "People should recognize that sleep, diet and physical activity are critical to health, including heart health and optimal blood pressure control. Although the elderly often have poor sleep, our study shows that such a finding is not benign. Poor sleep may be a powerful predictor for adverse health outcomes. Initiatives to improve sleep may provide novel approaches for reducing hypertension burden."

Co-authors are Maple M. Fung, M.D.; Katherine Peters, M.S.; Michael G. Ziegler, M.D.; Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Ph.D.; Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, M.D.; and Katie L. Stone, Ph.D. Author disclosures and sources of funding are on the manuscript.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Maple M. Fung, Katherine Peters, Susan Redline, Michael G. Ziegler, Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, Katie L. Stone, for the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Research Group. Decreased Slow Wave Sleep Increases Risk of Developing Hypertension in Elderly Men. Hypertension, 2011; DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.111.174409

Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Poor sleep quality increases risk of high blood pressure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110829164644.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2011, August 30). Poor sleep quality increases risk of high blood pressure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110829164644.htm
American Heart Association. "Poor sleep quality increases risk of high blood pressure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110829164644.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins