Independent predictors of isolated clinic ('white-coat') hypertension

J Hypertens. 2001 Jun;19(6):1015-20. doi: 10.1097/00004872-200106000-00004.


Background: Hypertension guidelines recommend 24 h ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) monitoring in hypertensive subjects with suspected isolated clinic hypertension (ICH). However, the pre-test probability of ICH based on the distribution of its independent predictors has not yet been estimated in hypertensive subjects with mildly elevated blood pressure.

Objective: To ascertain the independent predictors of ICH in mildly hypertensive subjects.

Methods: In the setting of the HARVEST-PIUMA collaboration, we studied 1564 subjects with hypertension stage I. At entry, all subjects were untreated and all underwent ABP monitoring and echocardiography. Diabetes, hypertension grade > I, renal failure or previous cardiovascular morbid events were exclusion criteria. Clinic BP was 143/92 mmHg (SD 9/5) and 24 h ABP was 128/81 mmHg (SD 10/8).

Results: Prevalence of ICH (daytime ABP < 130 mmHg systolic and 80 mmHg diastolic) was 10.4%. In a multivariate logistic regression analysis, sex (P = 0.002), smoking (P = 0.038) and clinic diastolic BP (P = 0.0002) were the sole independent predictors of ICH according to the following equation: Y = 2.6438 + 0.5128 x sex (0 = men; 1 = women) + 0.4543 x current smoking (0 = yes; 1 = no) - 0.0531 x clinic diastolic BP (mmHg) and P (probability of ICH) = exp(Y)/[1 + (exp(Y)]. Left ventricular (LV) mass at echocardiography was a further independent predictor (P = 0.002) of ICH according to the following equation: Y= 3.4343 + 0.4603 x sex + 0.5989 x current smoking - 0.0482 x clinic diastolic BP - 0.0312 x LV mass [g/height (m)2.7]. LV mass was greater (P < 0.01) in the group with ambulatory hypertension [42.3 g/height (m)2.7] than in that with ICH [39.2 g/height (m)2.7] and not dissimilar between the ICH group and a control group of 370 healthy normotensive subjects [38.1 g/height (m)2.7].

Conclusions: In untreated subjects with stage I hypertension, ICH is most frequent among women, nonsmokers and subjects with low clinic BP and smaller LV mass. These findings allow identification of subjects with indication to ABP monitoring because of suspected ICH.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory
  • Diastole
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis*
  • Hypertension / etiology*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects