Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in elderly patients with isolated systolic hypertension

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Objectives:This study compared clinic and ambulatory blood pressure measurement and the reproducibility of these measurements in older patients with isolated systolic hypertension (ISH).Patients:Eighty-seven patients aged ≥60 years with ISH on clinic measurement were followed in the placebo run-in phase of the Syst-Eur trial.Methods:Clinic blood pressure was defined as the mean of two blood pressure readings on each of three clinic visits (six readings in total). Ambulatory blood pressure was measured over 24 h using non-invasive ambulatory blood pressure monitors.Results:Daytime ambulatory systolic pressure was, on average, 21 mmHg lower than the clinic blood pressure, whereas diastolic pressure was, on average, similar with both techniques of measurement. In the 42 patients who had repeat measurements, clinic blood pressure levels and the amplitude of the diurnal blood pressure profile (fitted by Fourier analysis) were equally reproducible. However, both were less reproducible than ambulatory blood pressure levels. The repeatability coefficients, expressed as per cent of near maximum variation (four times the standard deviation of a given measurement), were 52% and 45% for the clinic systolic and diastolic pressures, 56% and 42% for the amplitude of the diurnal profile, and 29% and 26% for mean 24-h pressures.Conclusions:In older patients with ISH, clinic and ambulatory systolic blood pressure measurements may differ largely: the prognostic significance of this difference remains to be elucidated. Furthermore, in these patients the level of pressure is more reproducible by daytime ambulatory blood pressure measurement than by clinic measurement.

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