Author(s): Kario K, Schwartz JE, Pickering TG
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Abstract There are reports that indicate that diurnal blood pressure (BP) variation, in addition to high BP per se, is related to target organ damage and the incidence of cardiovascular events. However, the determinants of diurnal BP variation are not adequately understood. We used actigraphy and ambulatory BP monitoring to study the diurnal variation of BP and physical activity in 160 adults. Within individuals, activity was more strongly related to pulse rate than to BP. The correlation between BP and activity was stronger during sleep than when awake, but the correlation between activity and pulse rate was higher during the awake period than during sleep. Between individuals, the sleep/awake ratio of systolic BP (SBP) was correlated with mean sleep activity (r=.17, P<0.05), mean awake activity (r=-0.16, P<0.05), and, especially, the ratio of sleep/awake activity (r=.24, P<0.01). Awake BP variability (SD of awake SBP) was positively correlated with awake activity (r=.16, P<0. 05). In regard to the effect of position, the standing-supine SBP difference was negatively correlated with the sleep/awake SBP ratio (r=-0.39, P<0.01) and positively correlated with awake SBP variability (r=.33, P<0.01). When we divided the subjects into 3 groups, 19 extreme dippers (with a sleep SBP decrease of >/=20\% of awake SBP), 102 dippers (with decreases of >/=10\% to <20\%), and 39 nondippers (with decreases of <10\%), no significant differences existed in awake activity among the groups. However, the nondippers exhibited greater sleep activity than extreme dippers (P<0.05) and an increased sleep/awake activity ratio compared with extreme dippers and dippers (P<0.01). Extreme dipping may also be associated with increased BP variability (P=0.08). Individual SBP responses to activity (the within-person slope of awake SBP regressed on activity) did not differ significantly among the 3 subgroups. In conclusion, physical activity is one of the determinants of ambulatory BP and its diurnal variation. We hypothesize that the association of sleep activity to sleep BP and dipping reflects differences in sleep quality.
This article was published in Hypertension
and referenced in Journal of Pulmonary & Respiratory Medicine