Aim. To evaluate in a large population of untreated, uncomplicated essential hypertensives the relationship between alterations in nocturnal blood pressure (BP) profile, i.e. non-dipping pattern, and total cardiovascular risk. Methods. A total of 580 consecutive patients with grade 1 or 2 hypertension, referred to our outpatient clinic, underwent the following procedures: (i) clinical and routine laboratory examinations; (ii) 24-h ambulatory BP monitoring; (iii) 24-h collection for microalbuminuria; (iv) echocardiography; and (v) carotid ultrasonography. Cardiovascular risk was assessed according to the stratification scheme suggested by the 2003 ESH/ESC guidelines. Results: According to this classification, 16.2% of the 580 patients were considered at low added risk, 42.4% at medium added risk and 41.4% at high added risk; 38.5% of the overall population was classified in the high-risk stratum because of at least one manifestation of target organ damage (TOD) and 6.3% for the presence of three or more risk factors. The prevalence rates of a non-dipping pattern (decrease in BP at night ≤ 10% compared with the average daytime values) were 28.5% in low-risk, 32.6% in medium-risk and 42.2% in high-risk patients, respectively. Conclusions: Our findings show that the prevalence of a non-dipping profile is significantly greater in patients stratified at high compared with those at low and medium added risk.
- Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
- Cardiovascular risk
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Internal Medicine