In the Journals

Nocturnal blood pressure pattern unusual in fibromyalgia patients

Nocturnal blood pressure is less likely to dip for patients with fibromyalgia when compared to healthy controls, according to research from Gazi University Medical School in Ankara, Turkey.

According to the researchers, blood press values decline during nighttime hours by about 10% in most people in a process known as “dipping.” The absence of the decline is defined as a “nondipping pattern” and is associated with target organ damage.

Researchers screened 130 female patients who were newly diagnosed with fibromyalgia between May 2010 and April 2011. Patients were excluded for high blood press and other comorbidities, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, infections or acute inflammatory conditions. After exclusionary were applied, 67 women with fibromyalgia and 38 healthy participants were enrolled in the study. Demographic and clinical factors, such as BMI and smoking status, were similar in both groups although cholesterol was slightly higher in the fibromyalgia group.

Blood press was monitored during a 24-hour ambulatory usual working day at 15-minute intervals between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. and at 30-minute intervals between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. when the participants were instructed to sleep.

Ambulatory diastolic blood pressure values were higher in fibromyalgia patients (70.9 vs. 68.3) and in nocturnal recordings (65.3 vs. 60.8). Diastolic dipping ratios were also lower in fibromyalgia patients (12.3 vs. 16.1). Patients with fibromyalgia were shown to be 3.68 times more likely to be a systolic nondipper and 2.69 times more likely to be a diastolic nondipper. After adjusting for smoking and other factors, the presence of fibromyalgia continued to be predictive of nondipping blood pressure.

Disclosure: The authors have no relevant financial disclosures.