(HealthDay News) – Poor sleep duration is independently associated with a doubling of the risk of resistant hypertension (RH), but the association may be mediated by depressive symptoms, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research Scientific Sessions, held from Sept 19–22 in Washington, D.C.

Rosa Maria Bruno, MD, of the University of Pisa in Italy, and colleagues conducted a study involving 234 patients with hypertension and RH, defined as blood pressure of >140/90mmHg with three or more antihypertensive drugs or controlled blood pressure with four or more drugs, to determine whether there is a connection between sleep loss and RH. Sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and depressive symptoms were assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).

The average sleep duration was 6.4±1.6 hours and 49% of patients slept for fewer than six hours per night. Compared with men, women had significantly higher PSQI and BDI scores and increased prevalence of poor sleep quality and depressive symptoms. Women, but not men, with RH had significantly increased PSQI and BDI scores. Poor sleep quality correlated independently with RH after multiple variable adjustments (odds ratio, 2.2), but the association lost significance after adjustment for depressive symptoms.

“Short sleep duration is highly prevalent in hypertensive patients. This condition is accompanied by poor sleep quality and depressive symptoms in women,” the authors write. “Poor sleep quality is associated with a two-fold higher probability of having RH. This association could be mediated by the presence of depressive symptoms.”

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