Nocturnal blood pressure fall on ambulatory monitoring in a large international database. The "Ad Hoc' Working Group

Jan StaessenR Fagard


A wide range of definitions is used to distinguish subjects in whom blood pressure (BP) falls at night (dippers) from their counterparts (nondippers). In an attempt to standardize the definition of nondipping, we determined the nocturnal BP fall and night-day BP ratio by 24-hour ambulatory monitoring in 4765 normotensive and 2555 hypertensive subjects from 10 to 99 years old. In all subjects combined, the systolic/diastolic nocturnal fall and corresponding ratio averaged (+/- SD) -16.7 +/- 11.0/ -13.6 +/- 8.1 mm Hg and 87.2 +/- 8.0%/83.1 +/- 9.6%, respectively. In normotensive subjects, the 95th percentiles were -0.3/-1.1 mm Hg for the nocturnal fall and 99.7%/98.3% for the night-day ratio. Both the fall and ratio showed a curvilinear correlation with age. The smallest fall and largest ratio were observed in older (> or = 70 years) subjects. A higher BP on conventional sphygmomanometry was associated with a larger systolic (partial r = .11) and diastolic (r = .12) nocturnal BP fall. The diastolic (r = .08) but not the systolic night-day ratio increased with higher conventional BP. The nocturnal BP fall was larger and the corresponding night-day ratio smaller in oscillometric (n = 5884) than in auscultatory (n = 1436) recordings...Continue Reading


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