Masked, white coat and sustained hypertension: comparison of target organ damage and psychometric parameters

J Hum Hypertens. 2010 Mar;24(3):151-7. doi: 10.1038/jhh.2009.55. Epub 2009 Jul 2.


Masked hypertension is defined as low clinic and elevated out-of-clinic pressure (blood pressure, BP) assessed either by patients at home or by ambulatory monitoring. This study compared the cardiovascular status and psychometric characteristics of masked, white coat and sustained hypertensives. Three groups of consecutive subjects with masked (n=100, age 59+/-11 years), white coat (n=100, 60+/-10 years) and sustained hypertension (n=100, 60+/-11 years) diagnosed by ambulatory BP monitoring were compared. Masked hypertensives had higher educational level, exercised more frequently, received fewer drugs and sensed more responsibilities at work than at home. Their left ventricular hypertrophy indexes fall in-between those with white coat and sustained, the latter having the highest values. The estimated total cardiovascular risk was intermediate between white coat and sustained, whereas their cardiovascular morbidity and renal disease was higher than that of white coat and similar to sustained. Psychological profile analysis showed lower score for type-A personality and their mood behaviour in the hypomania-euthymia range compared with white coat and sustained hypertensives. The cardiovascular risk of masked hypertensives is higher than that of white coat and similar to sustained. Masked hypertensives have higher educational level, better physical training and different personality/mood pattern than white coat and sustained.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / diagnosis
  • Hypertension* / epidemiology
  • Hypertension* / psychology
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / epidemiology*
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / psychology
  • Kidney Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Kidney Diseases / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity
  • Personality
  • Physical Fitness
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychometrics*
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology