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Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea Linked to Resistant Hypertension in African Americans

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dayna A. Johnson PhD Department of Epidemiology Emory University Atlanta, GA

Dr. Johnson

Dayna A. Johnson PhD
Department of Epidemiology
Emory University
Atlanta, GA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: There are several studies that have determined that African Americans have the highest prevalence of hypertension and are the most likely to have uncontrolled hypertension compared to other racial/ethnic groups. We were interested in studying whether sleep apnea contributed to hypertension control among African Americans.

We found that participants with sleep apnea were more likely to have resistant hypertension than those without sleep apnea. In particular, individuals with severe sleep apnea had the highest risk of resistant hypertension. Most of the participants with measured sleep apnea were undiagnosed (96%). 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Readers should know that undiagnosed sleep apnea was extremely common in this study. Undiagnosed, therefore untreated sleep apnea was associated with resistant hypertension (a high blood pressure despite use of 3 or more antihypertensive medications or the use of 4 or more antihypertensive medications to control blood pressure). It is important to increase awareness and screening for sleep apnea among African Americans. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: Future research should explore intervention strategies for screening and treating sleep apnea among African Americans. Also, future research should explore whether treating sleep apnea can reduce the burden of resistant hypertension among African Americans.

No disclosures 


Association Between Sleep Apnea and Blood Pressure Control Among Blacks: Jackson Heart Sleep Study

Dayna A. Johnson, S. Justin Thomas, Marwah Abdalla, Na Guo ,Yuichiro Yano, Michael Rueschman, Rikki M. Tanner, Murray A. Mittleman,David A. Calhoun, James G. Wilson, Paul Muntner, and Susan Redline

Originally published10 Dec 2018Circulation. 2018;0 

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Last Updated on December 26, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD