Daytime blood pressure elevation after nocturnal hypoxia

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1999 Aug;87(2):689-98. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1999.87.2.689.


The purpose of this study was to investigate whether nocturnal hypoxia causes daytime blood pressure (BP) elevation. We hypothesized that overnight exposure to hypoxia leads the next morning to elevation in BP that outlasts the hypoxia stimulus. We studied the effect on BP of two consecutive night exposures to hypobaric hypoxia in 10 healthy normotensive subjects. During the hypoxia nights, subjects slept for 8 h in a hypobaric chamber at a simulated altitude of 4,000 m (barometric pressure = 462 mmHg). Arterial O(2) saturation and electrocardiogram were monitored throughout the night. For 30 min before the nocturnal simulated ascent and for 4 h after return to baseline altitude the next morning, BP was measured every 5 min while the subject was awake. The same measurements were made before and after 2 normoxic nights of sleep in the hypobaric chamber at ambient barometric pressure (745 mmHg). Principal components analysis was applied to evaluate patterns of BP response after the second night of hypoxia and normoxia. A distinct pattern of diastolic BP (DBP) elevation was observed after the hypoxia night in 9 of the 10 subjects but in none after the normoxia night. This pattern showed a mean increase of 4 mmHg in DBP compared with the presleep-awake baseline in the first 60 min and a return to baseline by 90 min. We conclude that nocturnal hypoxia leads to a carryover elevation of daytime DBP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Computer Simulation
  • Electrocardiography
  • Electrolytes / blood
  • Electrolytes / urine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Hypoxia / blood
  • Hypoxia / physiopathology*
  • Hypoxia / urine
  • Male
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Sleep


  • Electrolytes
  • Oxygen