The association between different features of sleep-disordered breathing and blood pressure: A cross-sectional study.

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Sleep disordered breathing (SDB) is highly prevalent in patients with high blood pressure (BP). Severity of SDB can be evaluated by the number of apneas and hypopneas per hour (AHI) or by measures of hypoxia. The objective of this study was to assess the association between different measures of SDB and BP. In 134 consecutive patients, polygraphy was performed to determine the AHI. Pulse oximetry was used to determine hypoxemic burden (time below 90% oxygen saturation [T90] and hypoxia load [HL], representing the integrated area above the curve of desaturation). AHI did not correlate with systolic and diastolic BP or pulse pressure. In contrast, HL correlated with pulse pressure during the day (P = .01) and night (P = .0034) before and after adjustment for body mass index. The correlation between systolic BP and HL at night disappeared following adjustment for body mass index. This study generates the hypothesis that nocturnal hypoxemic burden may represent a suitable marker of BP pattern and a potential treatment target in hypertensive patients.

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