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Nocturnal blood pressure non-dipping, posttraumatic stress disorder, and sleep quality in women.

Ulmer CS, Calhoun PS, Bosworth HB, Dennis MF, Beckham JC. Nocturnal blood pressure non-dipping, posttraumatic stress disorder, and sleep quality in women. Behavioral Medicine (Washington, D.C.). 2013 Jan 1; 39(4):111-21.

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Women with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have poor sleep quality and increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Non-dipping of nocturnal blood pressure may be an explanatory factor for the relationship between sleep and CVD found in previous research. The current study was designed to determine if non-dipping nocturnal blood pressure was associated with trauma exposure, PTSD diagnosis, PTSD symptoms, and sleep quality in a sample of women. Participants completed 24 hours of ABPM and self-report questionnaires. Non-dipping was defined as less than 10% reduction in blood pressure during sleep. The frequency of non-dippers did not differ by diagnostic status (d = .15). However, non-dippers endorsed more traumatic event categories (d = .53), more PTSD hyperarousal symptoms (d = .53), poorer overall sleep quality (d = .59), more frequent use of sleep medication (d = .62), greater sleep-related daytime dysfunction (d = .58), and longer sleep onset latencies (d = .55) than dippers. Increased attention to nocturnal blood pressure variation may be needed to improve blood pressure control in trauma-exposed women.

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