Poor sleep quality, particularly from frequent urination at night, is strongly associated with nighttime blood pressure (BP) abnormalities, according to new study findings.

Takeshi Matsumoto, PhD, and colleagues from the Kyoto University School of Public Health in Japan analyzed data from 5959 men and women from the Nagahama study. Participants measured sleep onset and awake time, sleep duration, sleep fragmentation, sleep disordered breathing, and nocturnal voids at home using various tools, including actigraphy, 3% oxygen desaturation index monitors, and sleep diaries.

According to results in the Journal of Hypertension, systolic BP decreased 8.5% on average. Having a higher number of nighttime voids, however, significantly correlated with smaller dips in nocturnal BP. Other associations with BP became nonsignificant after adjustment, including the sleep fragmentation index and 3% oxygen desaturation index.

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“Subjective sleep estimates and frequent nocturnal urination may represent a potential risk for circadian BP abnormalities,” Dr Matsumoto and his peers concluded.

In an accompanying editorial, Maria Lorenza Muiesana, MD, of the University of Brescia, and Anna Paini, MD, of the Civil Hospital of Brescia, in Italy commented: “Overall, the results of the study by Matsumoto et al. underscore the close independent relationship that exists between nocturia and nocturnal BP, emphasizing the importance of devoting more attention to nocturia, a frequent and often forgotten clinical symptom. Clinicians should ask more carefully about the presence and/or the number of nocturnal voids in all patients and not only in elderly, especially male, individuals.”

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Matsumoto T, Tabarab Y, Murase K, et al. Nocturia and increase in nocturnal blood pressure: the Nagahama study. J Hypertension 36:2185–2192. DOI:10.1111/bju.14535

Lorenza Muiesana M and Paini A. Nocturia and night-time blood pressure: an association too frequently overlooked. J Hypertension 36:2135–2137