Sleep deprivation may increase the risk of developing hypertension among adolescents, especially males, according to a recent study published in the journal Annals of Human Biology.
Researchers performed a meta-analysis of 7 studies (n=21,150; aged, 10-18 years)identified through a literature search on PubMed, Web of science and Cochrane library databases. Available sleep duration data were considered for all the adolescents along with data of elevated blood pressure (BP) or prehypertension or hypertension incidences.
The pooled results showed an increased risk for high BP in adolescents with short sleep duration (OR, 1.51, 95% CI, 1.04-2.19). The risk for high BP in adolescents with long sleep duration was lower (OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.78-1.38). Subgroup analysis showed an incidence of high BP risk among male adolescents compared with female adolescents with short sleep duration (OR, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.24-1.93) vs (OR, 1.23; 95% CI, 0.47-3.22).
Although the precise mechanism underlying the association between short sleep duration and high BP is not understood, it is believed that insufficient sleep can lead to increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system and a consequent elevation in blood pressure. "Future studies should consider valid instruments for the measurement of sleep duration and possible variations by age, and race," the authors said.