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Short and long sleep in early pregnancy linked to high blood pressure in the third trimester
Date:9/30/2010

approaches, particularly improved sleep habits, to lower preeclampsia risk," said Williams.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, systolic blood pressure - the top number in a blood pressure reading - is the force of blood in the arteries as the heart beats. A systolic blood pressure reading is considered to be "high" if it is 140 or more millimeters of mercury.

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reports that preeclampsia is a syndrome that occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy. It should be monitored closely by a medical professional because it can have a severe impact on the health of the mother and her baby.

The study involved 1,272 healthy, pregnant women who completed a structured interview at 14 weeks gestation, on average. Sleep duration in early pregnancy was evaluated by the question, "Since becoming pregnant, how many hours per night do you sleep?" Only about 20.5 percent of women reported a sleep duration of nine hours per night, which was used as the "normal" reference category because prior research indicates that pregnant women tend to have longer sleep duration patterns. About 55.2 percent of women reported sleeping seven to eight hours per night, 13.7 percent slept six hours or less and about 10.6 percent slept 10 hours or more.

After delivery, data on maternal blood pressures at routine prenatal care visits were abstracted from participants' medical records, providing an average of 12 blood pressure values for each participant. Women with pre-gestational chronic hypertension were excluded from the study. Mean systolic blood pressures were 111.8 mm Hg and 111.4 mm Hg in the first and second trimesters, and 114.1 mm Hg in the third trimester.

According to the authors, a number of mechanisms by which habitual short sleep duration may lead to increased blood pressure have been proposed. Because blood pressure is known
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Contact: Emilee McStay
emcstay@aasmnet.org
630-737-9700 x9345
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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