Sleep apnea and hypertension--what a mess!

Sleep. 1997 Sep;20(9):789-93. doi: 10.1093/sleep/20.9.789a.


It is unarguable that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) causes pulsatile hypertension during sleep, but whether there is significant carryover of hypertension into waking hours is far from clear. It is perhaps more useful to consider whether OSA is related to the consequences of hypertension (e.g. stroke), since both nocturnal and daytime hypertension could be responsible for these. Furthermore, the effects of nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) on hypertension (or its consequences) must be assessed by randomized controlled studies, in exactly the same way as trials on hypotensive drugs would be carried out, before treatment is prescribed for OSA in the absence of any daytime symptoms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / etiology*
  • Male
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / complications*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / therapy