August 30, 2011

Poor Quality Sleep Contributes to High Blood Pressure

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is known to cause all sorts of health problems beyond sleepiness. Medical problems include increased risk of stroke, heart attack, peripheral vascular disease, high blood pressure, etc. However, what researchers have recently found is that even if you do not have obstructive sleep apnea, if a person does not have enough "deep sleep" per night resulting in poor quality sleep, that also can increase risk of hypertension.

Researchers collected data on 784 men over the age of 65 who didn't have high blood pressure initially and followed them over the next 3 years. At home sleep studies were obtained initially and at follow-up to look at their sleep patterns as well as their blood pressure.

What they found was that individuals with poor quality sleep, reflected by reduced slow wave sleep (deep sleep), puts individuals at significantly increased risk of developing high blood pressure, and that this effect appeared to be independent of obstructive sleep apnea.

Read a CNN report here.

Decreased Slow Wave Sleep Increases Risk of Developing Hypertension in Elderly Men. HYPERTENSION AHA.111.174409. Published online before print August 29, 2011,

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Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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