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Poor Sleep Linked to High Blood Pressure in Teens
Date:8/18/2008

Similar results have been found in studies of adults

MONDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Teens who don't get enough sleep or have poor-quality sleep run the risk of elevated blood pressure, a new study finds.

It's the first study to make such a connection, said study senior author Dr. Susan Redline, director of the University Hospitals Sleep Center at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

"In adults, there has been evidence that less than six hours of sleep a night was associated with high blood pressure levels," said Redline, who is professor of medicine and pediatrics at Case Western Reserve. "No study has been done in adolescents."

Redline and her colleagues studied 238 boys and girls ages 13 to 16, asking about their sleep habits. They found that 11 percent of them slept less than 6.5 hours a night, and 26 percent had poor "sleep efficiency," with frequent awakenings at night.

One of every seven teens in the study had either hypertension, which is high blood pressure greater than 120 over 80, or borderline high blood pressure called prehypertension. Teens with less than 85 percent sleep efficiency had nearly three times the odds of high blood pressure, the researchers reported.

"That was one of the more unique findings, that poor sleep quality is associated with high blood pressure," Redline said.

The study was published in the Aug. 19 issue of the journal Circulation.

While it's too early to tell where poor sleep ranks among the risk factors for high blood pressure, Redline said, "In our study, it was stronger than being overweight."

The Case Western researchers will continue to follow the teenagers "to see how their blood pressure is developing over time," she said.

Dr. Stephen R. Daniels, pediatrician-in-chief at the Children's Hospital in Denver and a spokesman for the American Heart Association, noted that the new study is prelimina
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