SDB and hypertension

People with sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) have an increased risk of developing hypertension, independent of all relevant risk factors.1, 2, 3, 4  This risk is related to SDB severity; the more severe the SDB, the greater the risk of developing hypertension.2

During healthy sleep, blood pressure decreases, but SDB patients instead tend to experience:

  • elevated blood pressure during sleep2
  • prolonged cardiovascular stress, which can lead to increased blood pressure also occurring during the day1.

SDB is present in more than 30% of patients with hypertension,6 and in around 80% of patients with drug resistant hypertension.7 For this group of patients in particular, treatment with positive airway pressure therapy may be especially important.8, 5



Bixler EO, Vgontzas AN, at el. Association of hypertension and sleep-disordered breathing.  Arch Intern Med 2000; 160:2289-95.


Marin JM et al. Association between treated and untreated obstructive sleep apnea and risk of hypertension. JAMA. 2012


Sjostrom C, Lindberg E, et al. Prevalence of sleep apnoea and snoring in hypertensive men: a population based study.  Thorax 2002; 57:602-7.


Logan AG, Perlikowski SM,et al.  High prevalence of unrecognized sleep apnoea in drug-resistant hypertension J Hypertens 2001; 19:2271-7.


Montesi et al. The Effect of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Treatment on Blood Pressure: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials, Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 2012