Background: The SHEAF (Self-Measurement of Blood Pressure at Home in the Elderly: Assessment and Follow-up) study is an observational study (from February 1998 to early 2002) designed to determine whether home blood pressure (BP) measurement has a greater cardiovascular prognostic value than office BP measurement among elderly (> or =60 years) French patients with hypertension. The objective of this present work is to describe the baseline characteristics of the treated patients in the SHEAF study from February 1998 to March 1999, placing special emphasis on "isolated office" and "isolated home" hypertension.
Methods: Baseline office BP measurement was assessed using a mercury sphygmomanometer. Home BP measurement was performed over a 4-day period. A 140/90-mm Hg threshold was chosen to define office hypertension, and a 135/85-mm Hg threshold to define home hypertension.
Results: Of the 5211 hypertensive patients in the SHEAF study with a valid home BP measurement, 4939 received treatment with at least 1 antihypertensive drug. Patients with isolated office hypertension represented 12.5% of this population, while patients with isolated home hypertension represented 10.8%. The characteristics of the patients with isolated office hypertension were similar to those of patients with controlled hypertension. However, patients with isolated office hypertension had fewer previous cardiovascular complications. In contrast, rates of cardiovascular risk factors and history of cardiovascular disease in patients with isolated home hypertension resembled those in patients with uncontrolled hypertension.
Conclusions: This retrospective analysis suggests that patients with isolated home hypertension belong to a high-risk subgroup. The 3-year follow-up of these patients will provide prospective data about the cardiovascular prognosis of these subgroups.