Objective: To explore the effect of personality on screening blood pressures measured in clinical settings and home blood pressure measurements.
Methods: From 1997 to 1999, 699 participants underwent screening and home blood pressure measurements and completed the Japanese version of the short-form Eysenck personality questionnaire. An increased screening blood pressure was defined as screening blood pressure > or = 140/90 mmHg and an increased home blood pressure was defined as home blood pressure > or = 135/85 mmHg.
Results: Participants with lower extroversion scores (i.e., introversion) showed a greater difference between screening and home systolic blood pressure. The association between introversion and differences was statistically significant, even after adjustment for other possible factors (younger age, female, wide screening pulse pressure, never smoked, and no antihypertensive medication). The adjusted means of SBP differences were 7.3 and 4.4 mmHg among the lowest and highest extroversion quartiles, respectively (P for trend = 0.02). Other personality scores (psychoticism or neuroticism) were not associated with screening and home blood pressure differences. The incorporation of an extroversion score in the basic model consisting of the above factors that affected the difference between screening and home blood pressure slightly improved the prediction of a high home blood pressure. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve increased by 0.037 among participants with high screening blood pressure and 0.006 for those with normal screening blood pressure compared with the basic model.
Conclusion: Physicians may need to be aware of 'introverted' patients who have high blood pressure in clinic settings, because they have the potential for 'white-coat' hypertension.