Objective: To analyze the different therapeutic attitudes towards patients with arterial hypertension (AH) or white coat hypertension (WCH).
Design: Longitudinal, retrospective study after performing a 24 h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring of ABPM.
Setting: Urban health center.
Patients: Eighty-six patients aged over 15 years, not treated and with figures of a poor blood pressure control (> 140 and/or > 90 mmHg), followed for a mean of four years.
Intervention: Initial 24-h ABPM (SpaceLabs 90202-90207). DETERMINATIONS AND MAIN RESULTS: After ABPM 43 patients were classified as having WCH and 43 patients AH. Both groups were comparable. Pharmacologic treatment was begun from 41.9% (n = 18) of WCH and 88.4% (n = 38) of AH (p < 0.001) patients with a delay, after ABPM, of 19 months (SD 22) and 1.2 months (SD 3.2), respectively (p < 0.01). At the end of the follow-up period patients with AH had more target organs involved.
Conclusions: The information provided by ABPM probably entails a more conservative approach at the beginning of pharmacologic treatment.