Use of non-invasive ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to screen for high-risk hypertensive patients

J Hypertens Suppl. 1990 Dec;8(6):S119-24.


Blood pressures measured casually by a doctor often differ considerably from those recorded during everyday activities away from the medical environment. In the present study, we compared office and ambulatory recorded pressures in 475 consecutive untreated patients diagnosed hypertensive by physicians. Blood pressure monitored non-invasively during the day was, on average 15/7 mmHg lower than the corresponding office pressures. The difference between office and ambulatory recorded pressure tended to be greatest in those patients with the highest office blood pressure levels, although the relationship between the two types of measurement was too weak (r = 0.50 and 0.38 for systolic and diastolic pressure, respectively) to have any predictive value in the individual patient. Office blood pressures were at least 10 mmHg higher than ambulatory pressures in 62% of patients for systolic and 42% for diastolic pressure. Blood pressure levels recorded during ambulatory monitoring were higher than in the doctor's office for 18% of patients for systolic and 22% for diastolic pressure. Among patients with systolic pressures of between 161 and 180 mmHg or diastolic pressures between 96 and 105 mmHg when facing a doctor, 27 and 37% respectively, showed markedly lower systolic (less than 140 mmHg) or diastolic (less than 90 mmHg) ambulatory recorded pressures. These data therefore indicate that ambulatory blood pressure monitoring may help to identify those truly hypertensive patients who are most likely to benefit from antihypertensive therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure Determination / methods
  • Blood Pressure Monitors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors