Blood Pressure in Sleep-Related Disordered Breathing: A Hypothesis

  • M. R. Littner
  • D. J. McGinty
Conference paper


A review of the literature suggests that sleep-related disordered breathing is less likely to lead to daytime systemic hypertension in elderly males. In contrast, such disordered breathing is likely to lead to hypertension in younger (<50 years of age) males. We hypothesize that this results from an age-related reduction in sympathetic responsiveness to the effects of sleep-related disordered breathing. We also have previously reported that sleep-related disordered breathing is associated with hypotension during sleep in elderly males. We hypothesize that diminished sympathetic responsiveness also contributes to this hypotension. This hypotension may contribute to the known increase in thrombotic strokes in persons who snore.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea Sleep Apnea Elderly Male Norepinephrine Level Hypoxic Pulmonary Vasoconstriction 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. R. Littner
    • 1
  • D. J. McGinty
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Medicine and ResearchSepulveda Veterans Administration Medical CenterSepulvedaUSA
  2. 2.The UCLA School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA

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