People with sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) have an increased risk of developing hypertension, independent of all relevant risk factors.1-4, 7 This risk is related to SDB severity; the more severe the SDB, the greater the risk of developing hypertension.
During healthy sleep, blood pressure decreases, but SDB patients instead tend to experience:
- elevated blood pressure during sleep
- prolonged cardiovascular stress, which can lead to increased blood pressure also occurring during the day.
SDB is present in more than 30% of patients with hypertension,5 and in around 80% of patients with drug resistant hypertension.6 For this group of patients in particular, treatment with positive airway pressure therapy may be especially important.8