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Casual (mercury sphygmomanometer) and ambulatory blood pressure measurements were determined in 61 subjects with sustained essential hypertension.Patients were classified into three subgroups: smokers or non-smokers; patients with or without hyperglycemia; and patients with or without plasma lipoprotein abnormality. Mean casual blood pressures were shown to be identical in these three subgroups.When ambulatory blood pressure was analyzed, smokers exhibited a significant increase in pulse pressure exclusively during the activity period, whereas diastolic blood pressure and mean arterial pressure (MAP) were not modified in comparison with controls. Patients with abnormal plasma glucose showed a significant increase in systolic and pulse pressure during both activity and non-activity periods, with a slight increase in MAP during the activity period. Patients with and without plasma lipid abnormality displayed similar ambulatory blood pressure.The study provides evidence that, in spite of similar casual blood pressure levels among smokers and non-smokers, as well as among those with elevated fasting glucose levels, smokers and patients with hyperglycemia have a higher systolic and pulse pressure during 24-h monitoring, pointing to the possible role of cyclic stress in the deterioration in the structure of the hypertensive arterial wall.