Snoring Tied to High Blood Pressure Risk

Summary: Regular snoring, especially in overweight middle-aged men, is linked to elevated blood pressure and uncontrolled hypertension. The study used home-based monitoring to objectively show the connection between snoring and hypertension.

Findings emphasize the need to consider snoring in healthcare, particularly for managing hypertension. This large-scale study highlights the potential consequences of snoring on long-term health.

Key Facts:

  1. Snoring and Hypertension: Regular snoring is significantly linked to high blood pressure and uncontrolled hypertension.
  2. Study Scale: Largest objective study using home-based monitoring over nine months with 12,000 participants.
  3. Health Implications: Findings suggest snoring should be considered in clinical care for hypertension management.

Source: Flinders University

That loud snoring keeping you up at night could be more than a noisy annoyance – it could be an early warning sign of dangerous hypertension.

New research from Flinders University sleep experts found that people, particularly overweight middle-aged men, who regularly snore at night are more likely to have elevated blood pressure and uncontrolled hypertension.

This shows a man sleeping.
Snoring alone may also serve as an early warning sign of high blood pressure, as poor sleep quality due to snoring may worsen the risk of hypertension. Credit: Neuroscience News

The study, published in the prestigious Nature Digital Medicine journal is the largest objective study and the first to use multiple night home-based monitoring technologies over a prolonged period to explore the association between snoring and hypertension.

“For the first time, we can objectively say that there is a significant connection between regular nighttime snoring and high blood pressure,” says lead author Dr Bastien Lechat from the College of Medicine and Public Health.

“We found that 15 per cent of all participants in the study, who were primarily overweight men, snore for more than 20 per cent of the night on average and that this regular nightly snoring is associated with elevated blood pressure and uncontrolled hypertension,” says Dr Lechat.

“These results emphasise the significance of considering snoring as a factor in healthcare and treatment for sleep-related issues, especially in the context of managing hypertension.”

Snoring is a common occurrence, affecting a large percentage of the population, and is often underestimated in terms of its negative health implications.  Snoring and sleep apnoea often overlap indicating shared common causes. 

“We observed that in those who snore regularly the risk of having uncontrolled hypertension was almost double. This risk almost doubled again in people who snored regularly and had sleep apnoea versus those who did not snore regularly,” says Professor Danny Eckert, Director of Sleep Health at Flinders University and senior author of the paper.  

Snoring alone may also serve as an early warning sign of high blood pressure, as poor sleep quality due to snoring may worsen the risk of hypertension.

Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure over a long period of time. It can lead to serious health problems such as heart failure, stroke, heart disease or kidney disease.

The study used sleep tracker data collected by an under-mattress sensor to detect snoring and sleep apnoea, along with an FDA-registered at home blood pressure monitor in more than 12,000 participants globally over a nine-month period.

“This is the largest study to date investigating the potential relationships between snoring, sleep apnoea and hypertension using objective assessments in people’s homes, and it reveals important insights into the potential consequences of snoring on hypertension risk,” says Dr Lechat.

“It also highlights the need to consider snoring as part of clinical care and management of sleep problems, particularly in the context of hypertension management.

“The findings of this study pave the way to further investigate whether therapeutic interventions directed toward snoring can reduce hypertension and reduce the risks associated with it,” he adds.

If you experience snoring along with signs of inadequate sleep, excessive sleepiness or observed breathing issues during sleep, it’s advisable to have a conversation with your doctor or a specialist who may recommend a sleep study.

About this hypertension and sleep research news

Author: Karen Ashford
Source: Flinders University
Contact: Karen Ashford – Flinders University
Image: The image is credited to Neuroscience News

Original Research: Open access.
Regular snoring is associated with uncontrolled hypertension” by Bastien Lechat et al. Nature Digital Medicine


Regular snoring is associated with uncontrolled hypertension

Snoring may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease independent of other co-morbidities. However, most prior studies have relied on subjective, self-report, snoring evaluation.

This study assessed snoring prevalence objectively over multiple months using in-home monitoring technology, and its association with hypertension prevalence.

In this study, 12,287 participants were monitored nightly for approximately six months using under-the-mattress sensor technology to estimate the average percentage of sleep time spent snoring per night and the estimated apnea-hypopnea index (eAHI).

Blood pressure cuff measurements from multiple daytime assessments were averaged to define uncontrolled hypertension based on mean systolic blood pressure≥140 mmHg and/or a mean diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg.

Associations between snoring and uncontrolled hypertension were examined using logistic regressions controlled for age, body mass index, sex, and eAHI. Participants were middle-aged (mean ± SD; 50 ± 12 y) and most were male (88%).

There were 2467 cases (20%) with uncontrolled hypertension. Approximately 29, 14 and 7% of the study population snored for an average of >10, 20, and 30% per night, respectively.

A higher proportion of time spent snoring (75th vs. 5th; 12% vs. 0.04%) was associated with a ~1.9-fold increase (OR [95%CI]; 1.87 [1.63, 2.15]) in uncontrolled hypertension independent of sleep apnea.

Multi-night objective snoring assessments and repeat daytime blood pressure recordings in a large global consumer sample, indicate that snoring is common and positively associated with hypertension.

These findings highlight the potential clinical utility of simple, objective, and noninvasive methods to detect snoring and its potential adverse health consequences.

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