Sympathetic activation by hypoxia and hypercapnia - implications for sleep apnea

Virend Somers, A. L. Mark, F. M. Abboud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Scopus citations

Abstract

In normal humans, both hypoxia and hypercapnia result in sympathetic nerve activation, and when combined, i.e. hypoxic hypercapnia, synergistically increase sympathetic activity. Apnea during the hypoxic and hypercapnic stress results in further increases in sympathetic activity. Borderline hypertensive humans have exaggerated sympathetic nerve responses to hypoxia. Hypertensives are also prone to sleep apnea. We suggest that sleep apnea may result in very high levels of sympathetic activity which may contribute to daytime hypertension and/or precipitate cardiovascular catastrophe in hypertensive people during sleep.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-422
Number of pages10
JournalClinical and Experimental Hypertension
VolumeA10
Issue numberS1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Apnea
  • Hypercapnia
  • Hypertension
  • Hypoxia
  • Sleep Apnea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Physiology

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