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We hypothesized that sleep deprivation affects hemodynamic parameters and, therefore, correlates with mortality after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) induced by isoproterenol. Rats were randomly assigned to one of four experimental groups: control, paradoxical sleep deprivation (PSD), AMI, and PSD + AMI. Blood pressure, heart rate and renal sympathetic nerve activity were higher in the PSD group. Mortality after isoproterenol administration was significantly higher in the PSD + AMI group compared to the AMI group. These data suggest that sleep loss is able to increase cardiovascular risk, per se, and worsens the prognosis in cases of cardiac insult.