Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and hypertension | ResMed
SDB and hypertension

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


  1. Peppard PE, et al. Prospective study of the association between sleep-disordered breathing and hypertension.  N Engl J Med 2000; 342:1378-1384.
  2. Lavie P, et al. Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome as a risk factor for hypertension: population study.   BMJ 2000; 320:479-82.
  3. Nieto FJ, Young TB, et al.  Association of sleep-disordered breathing, sleep apnea, and hypertension in a large community-based study. JAMA2000; 283:1829-1836.
  4. Bixler EO, Vgontzas AN, at el. Association of hypertension and sleep-disordered breathing.  Arch Intern Med 2000; 160:2289-95.
  5. Marin JM et al. Association between treated and untreated obstructive sleep apnea and risk of hypertension. JAMA. 2012
  6. Sjostrom C, Lindberg E, et al. Prevalence of sleep apnoea and snoring in hypertensive men: a population based study.  Thorax 2002; 57:602-7.
  7. Logan AG, Perlikowski SM,et al. High prevalence of unrecognized sleep apnoea in drug-resistant hypertension.  J Hypertens 2001; 19:2271-7.
  8. 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