The basic question approached in this Concerted action is to examine the prognostic value of ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) recordings as compared to regular office recordings (OBP).
The aim of the project was to examine the prognostic value of ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) recordings as compared to regular office recordings (OBP). Almost 1600 patients undergoing treatment for essential hypertension in a number of centres were included in the pilot study. The ambulatory recordings were carried out by validated instruments with several centres using the spacelabs instrument. A program has been adapted to allow data from spacelabs to be transferred to the MacIntosh computer. Reading of the ambulatory recordings were done centrally and patient information from doctors was input directly into computer and sent electronically to the coordinating centre in Gent. The data from the pilot study have provided information on particular instruments and will aid development and validation of new instruments. The ABP recordings are useful for providing more information on blood pressure during normal life and can be used to monitor the effects of drugs.
There is ample evidence of large differences existing between blood pressure recorded at the physician's office and blood pressure recorded in ambulatory conditions. Our present knowledge on prognosis of hypertension is almost entirely based on office blood pressure readings; obviously, ambulatory recordings provide us with a much more complete information on the patient's blood pressure profile. Thus, ambulatory blood pressure recordings could correlate better with patient's prognosis but there is so far, only limited proof for this. The present study is set up to investigate this statement prospectively in patients with primary hypertension, under treatment. The primary goal is to see whether there is a better correlation between blood pressure and mortality, morbidity and organ damage due to hypertension when BP is defined by ABP instead of OBP.