Utility of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring for the management of hypertension

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Hypertension is a leading cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, affecting nearly 80 million individuals in the United States alone. Accurate measurement of blood pressure (BP) is the crucial first step to reduce the associated cardiovascular risk of hypertension. For decades, clinicians have relied on office BP measurements for the diagnosis and subsequent management of hypertension. However, it has been clearly demonstrated that ambulatory BP measurements are a better predictor of cardiovascular risk and can provide clinicians with important additional information to improve BP control and reduce cardiovascular risk. This article reviews the available data and provides clinical insights into the use of ambulatory BP monitoring for the management of hypertension.

Recent findings

Ambulatory BP monitoring is uniquely capable of identifying patients with white-coat hypertension (WCH), masked hypertension and abnormal nocturnal BP profiles. Recently, ambulatory BP data have demonstrated the negative impact of WCH on right ventricular function, a greater prevalence of masked hypertension than previously recognized and the detrimental impact of nocturnal hypertension even in controlled hypertension.

Summary

Ambulatory BP monitoring provides clinicians with the most comprehensive evaluation of hypertension and the ability to define individual BP phenotypes. Hence, these out-of-office measurements can be utilized to improve hypertension control, translating into a reduction of cardiovascular events.

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