The influence of mental factors on disturbances in the circadian rhythm of blood pressure

dr hab. n. med. Krzysztof Małyszczak, prof. UMW, dr hab. n. med. Anna Janocha

Key words:
monitoring, blood pressure, circadian variation, dipper, non-dipper, anxiety disorders, hypertension

Blood pressure naturally fluctuates throughout the day, being higher during the day and lower during sleep. On average, the nocturnal fall in blood pressure is 10%–20% of the pressure during the day. In some cases, the nocturnal fall is reduced or absent, such individuals are referred to as „non-dippers”. It is estimated that the population of non-dippers with hypertension account for approximately 30%. Non-dippers have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than „dippers”, regardless of whether the blood pressure measured during the day was normal or elevated. Disturbances in the circadian rhythm of blood pressure have been found in various anxiety disorders, especially in patients with panic disorder.