Prognostic information: Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring provides three kinds of information, all of which might have prognostic significance: blood pressure level, amplitude of diurnal variation and short-term variability.
Blood pressure level: Existing data support the hypothesis that patients whose ambulatory blood pressure is low in comparison with clinic blood pressure (white-coat hypertension) have a relatively low risk of morbidity.
Amplitude of diurnal rhythm of blood pressure: While there is limited support for the hypothesis that patients with small diurnal variations may carry a higher risk (particularly women), opposing hypotheses are also plausible.
Short-term blood pressure variability: It is hypothesized that increased variability will be associated with increased morbidity. Preliminary data from the Cornell prospective study are consistent with this hypothesis.