Sleep duration and blood pressure in children: a cross-sectional study

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ObjectivesShort sleep duration as a risk factor for higher blood pressure has been reported by several studies on adults. This study aimed to investigate this association in children, considering age-specific effects and distributional aspects.MethodsUsing data from the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS, 2003–2006), information on daily sleeping hours and blood pressure measurements was available for 7701 children between 3 and 10 years of age.ResultsUsing an age-independent measure for sleep duration, linear regression revealed a −0.80 mmHg (95% confidence interval −1.39; −0.22) mean arterial pressure difference between the children with the longest vs. shortest sleep duration. This effect was independent of age and was no longer significant when adjusted for BMI z-score and reported physical activity. Effect estimates obtained from quantile regression confirmed lack of significant associations over the entire blood pressure distribution.ConclusionSleep duration showed no or only marginal association with blood pressure in this large sample of children between 3 and 10 years of age. Further analysis indicated no age dependency or certain groups (e.g. prehypertensive children), in which sleep duration showed a greater effect on blood pressure.

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