Lack of placebo effect on ambulatory blood pressure

Giuseppe Mancia, Stefano Omboni, Gianfranco Parati, Antonella Ravogli, Alessandra Villani, Alberto Zanchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several studies have reported that, at variance with clinic blood pressure, ambulatory blood pressure is not reduced by treatment with placebo. However, this evidence has usually been obtained in small groups of subjects and no data are available from a larger sample of patients. To address this issue we have analyzed data from 116 outpatients involved in placebo-controlled studies on antihypertensive treatment. The patients were studied before and at the end of a 6- to 8-week period of placebo. In all patients, blood pressure was measured by sphygmomanometry and over the 24 h by automatic ambulatory monitoring. Administration of placebo was accompanied by a significant reduction in systolic and diastolic clinic blood pressure (-5.3 ± 1.1 and -4.4 ± 0.6 mm Hg, respectively; P <.01), but not in 24-h, daytime and nighttime blood pressure. Hourly systolic and diastolic blood pressure profiles were virtually superimposable in the two different periods, except for the first 4 h, in which systolic blood pressure was slightly but significantly lower during than before placebo (149.5 ± 1.2 v 146.4 ± 1.2 mm Hg; P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-315
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
  • antihypertensive drug trials
  • placebo effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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