Objective: We investigated the prognostic impact of 24-h blood pressure control in treated hypertensive subjects.
Background: There is growing evidence that ambulatory blood pressure improves risk stratification in untreated subjects with essential hypertension. Surprisingly, little is known on the prognostic value of this procedure in treated subjects.
Methods: Diagnostic procedures including 24-h noninvasive ambulatory blood pressure monitoring were undertaken in 790 subjects with essential hypertension (mean age 48 years) before therapy and after an average follow-up of 3.7 years (2,891 patient-years).
Results: At the follow-up visit, 26.6% of subjects achieved adequate office blood pressure control (<140/90 mm Hg), and 37.3% of subjects achieved adequate ambulatory blood pressure control (daytime blood pressure <135/85 mm Hg). Months or years after the follow-up visit, 58 patients suffered a first cardiovascular event. Event rate was lower (0.71 events/100 person-years) among the subjects with adequate ambulatory blood pressure control than among those with higher blood pressure levels (1.87 events/100 person-years) (p = 0.0026). Ambulatory blood pressure control predicted a lesser risk for subsequent cardiovascular disease independently of other individual risk factors (RR 0.36; 95% confidence intervals: 0.18 to 0.70; p = 0.003), including age, diabetes and left ventricular hypertrophy. Office blood pressure control was associated with a nonsignificant lesser risk of subsequent events (RR 0.63; 95% confidence intervals: 0.31 to 1.31; p = NS). In-treatment ambulatory blood pressure was more potent than pre-treatment blood pressure for prediction of subsequent cardiovascular disease.
Conclusions: Ambulatory blood pressure control is superior to office blood pressure control for prediction of individual cardiovascular risk in treated hypertensive subjects.