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Blood Press Monit. 2001 Dec;6(6):335-9.

Predictive values of automated blood pressure measurement: what can we learn from the Japanese population - the Ohasama study.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Tohoku University Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Science and Medicine, Sendai, Japan.



Measurements of ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) and of home blood pressure (HBP) as an adjunct to casual/clinic blood pressure (CBP) measurements are currently widely used for the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension. We have monitored a rural cohort of people from the population of Ohasama, Japan, with respect to their prognosis and have previously reported that ABP and HBP are superior to CBP for the prediction of cardiovascular mortality. One reason that CBP is a poor predictor of prognosis is that it incorporates several biases, including the white-coat effect.


We examined the prognostic significance of white-coat hypertension for mortality and found that the relative hazard for the overall mortality of patients with white-coat hypertension was significantly lower than that for true hypertension. Short-term blood pressure variability has recently attracted attention as a cause of target-organ damage and cardiovascular complications. Our results confirmed that short-term blood pressure variability (as measured every 30 min) was independently associated with cardiovascular mortality. In addition, research has recently focused on isolated systolic hypertension and pulse pressure as independent risk factors for poor cardiovascular prognosis. The Ohasama study also clearly demonstrated that isolated systolic hypertension and increased pulse pressure, as assessed by HBP, were associated with an increase in the risk of cardiovascular mortality. Circadian blood pressure variation is characterized by a diurnal elevation and a nocturnal decline in blood pressure. We therefore compared morbidity from stroke between dippers (subjects who show an ordinal nocturnal dipping of blood pressure) and non-dippers (those with a diminished nocturnal dipping or nocturnal elevation of blood pressure [inverted dippers]) in the Ohasama study. The incidence of stroke increased with an increased length of observation in dippers using antihypertensive medication but not in non-dippers using antihypertensive medication. In contrast, the relative hazard for mortality increased in non-dippers and inverted dippers. These results suggest a cause-and-effect relationship for both dippers and non-dippers.


The Ohasama study showed that the level and variability of hypertension as assessed by ABP and HBP are independent predictors of cardiovascular mortality. It also demonstrated an independent association between the prognosis of hypertension and each component of ABP and HBP, indicating the prognostic significance of these blood pressure measurements.

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