Beware of "Masked" Hypertension
According to the results of a newstudy, the use of multiple bloodpressure (BP) readings taken outsidethe clinician's office are helpful indiagnosing what is called "masked"hypertension. People with maskedhypertension have normal BP readingsin the doctor's office but highBP at other times. This phenomenonis the opposite of "white-coat"hypertension, in which patientshave high BP at the doctor's officeand low BP elsewhere.
The study involved roughly 443participants who had their BP testedon-site in 2 visits 2 to 4 weeksapart. They used a home BP monitoron 6 workdays during a 2-weekperiod. Masked hypertension wasdetected in 12% of these patientsbased on the home, or resting,measurements. A one-time 24-hour ambulatory measurementduring a workday identified thecondition in about 14% of patients.
In 44 of the patients, ambulatoryand home BP measurementsdid not agree; 27 patients had elevatedambulatory BP, and 17 hadelevated home BP. Researcherssuggest that patients consult withtheir health care professionals todetermine the best kind of monitorfor home usage.