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Study Ties Ambulatory BP Monitoring to Disturbed Sleep

Last Updated: December 18, 2009.

Ambulatory monitoring of blood pressure is associated with reduced sleep and physical activity, and may increase the likelihood that blood pressure will not follow normal circadian rhythms, according to a study published online Dec. 17 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Ambulatory monitoring of blood pressure is associated with reduced sleep and physical activity, and may increase the likelihood that blood pressure will not follow normal circadian rhythms, according to a study published online Dec. 17 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Rajiv Agarwal, M.D., and Robert P. Light from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis measured physical activity using wrist actigraphy in 103 veterans with chronic kidney disease. After a week of continuous monitoring, they performed ambulatory blood pressure monitoring while continuing actigraphy. They repeated the experiment after one month.

The researchers found that for patients who slept the most, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring was associated with significantly less time spent in bed at night, more time spent awake while in bed, lower sleep efficiency, and being more sedentary during waking hours. Excessive waking after sleep onset was associated with a higher risk of "non-dipping", or not experiencing the drop in blood pressure that normally occurs during sleep (odds ratio, 10.5).

"Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is associated with disturbed sleep and reduced physical activity, characteristics that influence dipping," Agarwal and Light conclude. "Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring may itself induce nondipping and may thus mitigate the prognostic significance of the dipping phenomenon."

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