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Hypertension. 2000 Mar;35(3):844-51.

Prognostic value of ambulatory blood pressure : current evidence and clinical implications.

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Ospedale R. Silvestrini, Dipartimento di Scienze Cardiologiche, Perugia PG, Italy.


This article is a critical review of the available evidence on the prognostic value of ambulatory blood pressure (ABP). Several event-based cohort studies have shown that ABP improves cardiovascular risk stratification over and beyond traditional risk factors, including office BP. Most of these studies have been conducted in subjects with essential hypertension who were untreated at the time of execution of ABP monitoring; other studies have been conducted in subjects who were poorly controlled with treatment or in the general population. In these studies, ABP was examined as a continuous variable or with operational risk categories. Cardiovascular risk showed a direct and independent association with the observed ABP (systolic, diastolic, and pulse) and an inverse association with the degree of BP reduction from day to night. Cardiovascular risk was also directly associated with the difference between the observed value of ABP and that predicted from the office BP. White-coat hypertension versus ambulatory hypertension and dippers versus nondippers are 2 classifications based on arbitrary operational risk categories. A blunted or absent BP reduction from day to night, defined with ABP as a continuous variable or with operational thresholds, was also associated with a worse outcome regardless of the average value of ABP during the 24 hours. Overall, these studies indicate that ABP monitoring is particularly valuable to refine cardiovascular risk stratification in untreated subjects with office hypertension and in those with resistant hypertension. Intervention studies targeted at ABP are now needed.

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