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Psychosom Med. 1993 Mar-Apr;55(2):203-11.

Hostility and differences between clinic, self-determined, and ambulatory blood pressure.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA School of Medicine.


This study examined the role of personality factors in differences between three methods of assessing blood pressure (clinic, self, ambulatory) in 45 patients with mild hypertension. The data were obtained after the patients were withdrawn from antihypertensive medications and had achieved stable clinic diastolic blood pressure levels of 95 to 110 mm Hg, averaged over three visits in 2 to 4 weeks. Significant differences were obtained in systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) as a function of method of assessment. These differences in both systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were associated with individual differences in the total score and several subscales of the Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory (Assault, Resentment, Guilt), but not in anxiety, depression, or other characteristics. High hostile subjects had consistently high blood pressure values in both clinic, self, and ambulatory recordings. Low hostile subjects were significantly lower in self-recorded blood pressure readings taken at home and in ambulatory recordings, compared with clinic values. Implications of these findings for "white coat hypertension" are discussed.

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