Home blood pressure monitoring is useful in detecting white-coat and masked hypertension and is recommended for patients with suspected or treated hypertension. The prognostic significance of white-coat and masked hypertension detected by home measurement was investigated in 6458 participants from 5 populations enrolled in the International Database of HOme blood pressure in relation to Cardiovascular Outcomes. During a median follow-up of 8.3 years, 714 fatal plus nonfatal cardiovascular events occurred. Among untreated subjects (n=5007), cardiovascular risk was higher in those with white-coat hypertension (adjusted hazard ratio 1.42; 95% CI [1.06-1.91]; P=0.02), masked hypertension (1.55; 95% CI [1.12-2.14]; P<0.01) and sustained hypertension (2.13; 95% CI [1.66-2.73]; P<0.0001) compared with normotensive subjects. Among treated patients (n=1451), the cardiovascular risk did not differ between those with high office and low home blood pressure (white-coat) and treated controlled subjects (low office and home blood pressure; 1.16; 95% CI [0.79-1.72]; P=0.45). However, treated subjects with masked hypertension (low office and high home blood pressure; 1.76; 95% CI [1.23-2.53]; P=0.002) and uncontrolled hypertension (high office and home blood pressure; 1.40; 95% CI [1.02-1.94]; P=0.04) had higher cardiovascular risk than treated controlled patients. In conclusion, white-coat hypertension assessed by home measurements is a cardiovascular risk factor in untreated but not in treated subjects probably because the latter receive effective treatment on the basis of their elevated office blood pressure. In contrast, masked uncontrolled hypertension is associated with increased cardiovascular risk in both untreated and treated patients, who are probably undertreated because of their low office blood pressure.
Keywords: cardiovascular diseases; home blood pressure monitoring; masked hypertension; meta-analysis; prognosis; white-coat hypertension.