Pitfalls in the Measurement of the Nocturnal Blood Pressure Dip in Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes

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OBJECTIVEThe purpose of this study was to screen adolescents with type 1 diabetes using ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) to 1) test the hypothesis that using a preset sleep time results in an overdiagnosis of abnormal nocturnal dipping in systolic blood pressure and 2) assess the reproducibility of an abnormal nocturnal systolic blood pressure dip.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODSFor aim 1, ABPM from 53 adolescent patients with type 1 diabetes was reviewed. Nocturnal dips in systolic blood pressure calculated by actual sleep time were compared with those from a preset sleep time. For aim 2, blood pressure monitoring from 98 patients using actual reported sleep time was reviewed. Reproducibility of the nocturnal dip in systolic blood pressure was assessed in a subset of “nondippers.”RESULTSFor aim 1, the actual mean ± SE decline in nocturnal systolic blood pressure was 11.6 ± 4.7%, whereas the mean decline in nocturnal systolic blood pressure calculated using the preset sleep time was 8.8 ± 4.9% (P < 0.0001). For aim 2, 64% of patients had a normal nocturnal decline in systolic blood pressure (14.9 ± 3.1% mmHg), whereas 36% had an abnormal dip (5.7 ± 2.8% mmHg). Repeat ABPM performed in 22 of the 35 nondippers revealed that only 36% had abnormal systolic dipping confirmed on the repeat ABPM.CONCLUSIONSThe use of actual reported sleep time is required to accurately determine the nocturnal dip in systolic blood pressure. Repeating ABPM in nondippers is essential to confirm this abnormality.

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