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Are sleep-related breathing disorders important contributing factors to the production of essential hypertension?

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Abstract

About 50% of all patients with essential hypertension have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and another 40% of essential hypertension patients are habitual snorers, but without OSA. There is now convincing evidence that both OSA and habitual snoring are independent risk factors for essential hypertension, and that treatment of OSA will reduce the blood pressure. There is also some evidence that treatment of habitual snoring will also reduce the blood pressure. If this is the case, then we postulate a unifying hypothesis: that these two sleep-related breathing disorders (SRBD) (OSA and habitual snoring) are very common contributing factors to what is called "essential hypertension." The many epidemiologic, clinical, hematologic, biochemical, and physiologic findings seen in essential hypertension could also be due to the associated SRBD. A routine search for SRBD by asking a few simple questions of all patients (especially those with hypertension) and their bed partners could increase the number of patients detected and treated significantly. Successful treatment of SRBD would improve sleep quality and the associated excessive daytime sleepiness, and thus improve the quality of life. In addition, there is a good chance that the hypertension will improve as well.

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Silverberg, D.S., Oksenberg, A. Are sleep-related breathing disorders important contributing factors to the production of essential hypertension?. Current Science Inc 3, 209–215 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11906-001-0040-8

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