Background: White-coat hypertension (WCH) is a frequent condition particularly in children and elderly individuals. The prognostic significance of WCH is still a matter of debate.
Methods: The present study was designed to systematically review cohort studies and assess the effects of WCH compared with normotension and sustained HTN on cardiovascular events and death, stroke, and all-cause mortality. We systematically searched the electronic databases, MEDLINE, PUBMED, EMBASE, and Cochrane for prospective cohort studies, which evaluated participants with office, and ambulatory, and/or home blood pressure.
Results: We included 14 studies with a total number of 29 100 participants (13 538 normotensive patients, 4806 with WCH and 10 756 with sustained HTN) with mean age of 59 years and follow-up of 8 years. Individuals with WCH had higher rates of cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality but not significantly different all-cause mortality and stroke risk compared with normotensive patients. Cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality, all-cause mortality, and stroke rates were significantly increased in patients with sustained HTN compared with WCH.
Conclusion: The cardiovascular morbidity and mortality associated with WCH may be slightly higher compared with normotension but well below the risks associated with sustained HTN.