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World J Cardiol. 2015 Jul 26;7(7):373-6. doi: 10.4330/wjc.v7.i7.373.

Night time blood pressure dip.

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Dennis Bloomfield, Alex Park, Department of Medicine, Richmond University Medical Center, Staten Island, NY 10310, United States.


The advent of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring permitted examination of blood pressures during sleep and recognition of the associated circadian fall in pressure during this period. The fall in pressure, called the "dip", is defined as the difference between daytime mean systolic pressure and nighttime mean systolic pressure expressed as a percentage of the day value. Ten percent to 20% is considered normal. Dips less than 10%, referred to as blunted or absent, have been considered as predicting an adverse cardiovascular event. This view and the broader concept that white coat hypertension itself is a forerunner of essential hypertension is disputable. This editorial questions whether mean arterial pressures over many hours accurately represent the systolic load, whether nighttime dipping varies from measure to measure or is a fixed phenomenon, whether the abrupt morning pressure rise is a risk factor or whether none of these issues are as important as the actual night time systolic blood pressure itself. The paper discusses the difference between medicated and nonmedicated white coat hypertensives in regard to the cardiovascular risk and suggests that further work is necessary to consider whether the quality and duration of sleep are important factors.


Ambulatory blood pressure monitor; Blunting; Cardiovascular risk; Nighttime dip

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