Clinical features of 8295 patients with resistant hypertension classified on the basis of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring

Hypertension. 2011 May;57(5):898-902. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.110.168948. Epub 2011 Mar 28.


We aimed to estimate the prevalence of resistant hypertension through both office and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in a large cohort of treated hypertensive patients from the Spanish Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring Registry. In addition, we also compared clinical features of patients with true or white-coat-resistant hypertension. In December 2009, we identified 68 045 treated patients with complete information for this analysis. Among them, 8295 (12.2% of the database) had resistant hypertension (office blood pressure ≥140 and/or 90 mm Hg while being treated with ≥3 antihypertensive drugs, 1 of them being a diuretic). After ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, 62.5% of patients were classified as true resistant hypertensives, the remaining 37.5% having white-coat resistance. The former group was younger, more frequently men, with a longer duration of hypertension and a worse cardiovascular risk profile. The group included larger proportions of smokers, diabetics, target organ damage (including left ventricular hypertrophy, impaired renal function, and microalbuminuria), and documented cardiovascular disease. Moreover, true resistant hypertensives exhibited in a greater proportion a riser pattern (22% versus 18%; P<0.001). In conclusion, this study first reports the prevalence of resistant hypertension in a large cohort of patients in usual daily practice. Resistant hypertension is present in 12% of the treated hypertensive population, but among them more than one third have normal ambulatory blood pressure. A worse risk profile is associated with true resistant hypertension, but this association is weak, thus making it necessary to assess ambulatory blood pressure monitoring for a correct diagnosis and management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / classification
  • Hypertension / diagnosis*
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Registries
  • Risk
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Antihypertensive Agents