Tests for detecting “masked” hypertension

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Tests for detecting “masked” hypertension

Masked hypertension can be defined as high blood pressure that is not detected during testing in the clinical setting. Masked hypertension is apparently the opposite of “white-coat” hypertension as a person has normal blood pressure in the doctor’s chamber but high blood pressure outside of the clinical set-up.

According to a new study, home blood pressure monitoring and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring both are effective in detecting “masked” hypertension.

In the study, the researchers tried to determine the level of agreement between home blood pressure and ambulatory blood pressure measurements in identifying masked hypertension.

The study results revealed that both the methods have important similarities in that they provide multiple blood pressure readings taken outside the clinic. However, there are certain important differences in that the home blood pressure monitoring provides readings on different days in sitting position at house, whereas ambulatory blood pressure monitoring provides 24-hour measurements in ambulatory conditions, at home/work or during sleep.

All the patients of this study had been evaluated for high blood pressure. Their blood pressures are measured at the clinic in two visits two or four week apart. Besides this, study participants measured their own blood pressure on six routine workdays and had a 24-hour monitoring over a routine workday.

Masked hypertension is found in 14% of patients using ambulatory setting and in about 12% based on home measurements. The researchers finally concluded that ambulatory and home blood pressure monitoring are “interchangeable” for identifying hypertension in most of the patients.

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