Sleep moderates the association between arterial stiffness and 24-hour blood pressure variability

Xiaoyue Liu, Guofen Yan, Linda Bullock, Debra J. Barksdale, Jeongok G. Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Arterial stiffness and increased blood pressure variability (BPV) are important subclinical cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Evidence is accumulating that poor sleep is associated with subclinical CVDs. The purpose of our study was to investigate how sleep was related to arterial stiffness and BPV. We also explored whether sleep moderated the association between arterial stiffness and BPV. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study including 78 healthy adults aged between 35 and 64 years. Variables of interest were: 1) objective seep characteristics, assessed with a wrist actigraphy for two consecutive nights; 2) arterial stiffness, measured by carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV); and 3) BPV, measured using an ambulatory blood pressure monitor over 24 h and estimated by average real variability. Results: Lower sleep efficiency was an independent predictor of higher cfPWV and higher systolic BPV, while longer wake after sleep onset (WASO) was an independent predictor of higher cfPWV only. In addition, cfPWV showed a positive relationship with systolic BPV, and this relationship was moderated by sleep efficiency and WASO, respectively. The relationship between cfPWV and systolic BPV became stronger among individuals who had a level of sleep efficiency lower than 84% and who had WASO higher than 67 min, respectively. Conclusion: Our study showed that poor sleep not only directly linked with arterial stiffness and BPV but also moderated the relationship between these two subclinical CVDs. These findings suggest that improving sleep quality could be a target intervention to promote cardiovascular health in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-229
Number of pages8
JournalSleep Medicine
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Actigraph
  • Arterial stiffness
  • Blood pressure variability
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Sleep health
  • Sleep quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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