By: Jan Chait
A five-year study measuring overnight blood pressure in 75 adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes revealed that high nighttime blood pressure can lead to kidney disease.
Subjects wore blood pressure devices that measured levels around the clock at the beginning of the study and again two years later. Researchers subsequently continued to monitor the subjects for microalbuminuria.
The study reports that the 14 subjects who developed microalbuminuria had registered high levels of systolic blood pressure while asleep.
Microalbuminuria is defined as a urinary protein excretion rate of between 30 and 300 mg over a 24-hour period. Systolic blood pressure, the top number in the blood pressure reading, is the pressure measured as the heart beats.
The researchers found that, in people with type 1 diabetes, high systolic blood pressure during sleep precedes the development of microalbuminuria, which is less likely to develop in those whose blood pressure decreases normally during sleeping hours.
-New England Journal of Medicine, September 12, 2002