Objectives: We sought to investigate the prognosis in subjects with "white-coat" hypertension (WCHT) and "masked" hypertension (MHT), in which blood pressure (BP) is lower in clinical measurements than during ambulatory monitoring.
Background: The prognostic significance of WCHT remains controversial, and little is known about MHT.
Methods: We obtained 24-h ambulatory BP and "casual" BP (i.e., obtained in clinical scenarios) values from 1,332 subjects (872 women, 460 men) > or =40 years old in a representative sample of the general population of a Japanese community. Survival and stroke morbidity were then followed up for a mean duration of 10 years.
Results: Composite risk of cardiovascular mortality and stroke morbidity examined using a Cox proportional hazards regression model for subjects with WCHT (casual BP > or =140/90 mm Hg, daytime BP <135/85 mm Hg; relative hazards [RH])1.28; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.76 to 2.14) was no different from risk for subjects with sustained normal BP (casual BP <140/90 mm Hg, daytime BP <135/85 mm Hg). However, risk was significantly higher for subjects with MHT (casual BP <140/90 mm Hg, daytime BP > or =135/85 mm Hg; RH 2.13; 95% CI 1.38 to 3.29) or sustained hypertension (casual BP > or =140/90 mm Hg, daytime BP > or =135/85 mm Hg; RH 2.26; 95% CI 1.49 to 3.41) than for subjects with sustained normal BP. Similar findings were observed for cardiovascular mortality and stroke morbidity among subgroups by gender, use of antihypertensive medication, and risk factor level (all p for heterogeneity >0.2).
Conclusions: Conventional BP measurements may not identify some individuals at high or low risk, but these people may be identifiable by the use of ambulatory BP.