Resistant (or refractory) hypertension (RH) is a clinical diagnosis based on blood pressure (BP) office measurements. About one third of subjects with suspected RH have indeed pseudo-resistant hypertension and 24-h ambulatory-blood pressure-monitoring aids to precisely identify them. Our aim was to determine those clinical, laboratory or echocardiographic variables that may be associated with subjects with sustained hypertension (namely true RH). We carried out a cross-sectional analysis of 143 patients consecutively enrolled with the clinical diagnosis of RH. All patients underwent clinical-demographic, laboratory evaluation, 2D-echocardiography and 24-h ambulatory-blood pressure-monitoring. Pseudo-resistant hypertension or white-coat RH was defined if office BP was ⩾140 and/or 90 mm Hg and 24-h BP <130/80 mm Hg. One-hundred and three (72%) patients had true RH and 40 (28%) patients had white-coat RH. True RH patients had significantly higher diabetes prevalence and higher office-systolic blood pressure (SBP) levels. Regarding target organ damage, left ventricular mass index (LVMI) and 24-h urinary albumin excretion (UAE) were also higher in true RH after adjustment for possible confounders (P=0.031 and P=0.012, respectively). In a logistic regression analysis, only office-SBP (multivariate OR (95%CI): 1.030 (1.003–1.057), P=0.030) and UAE (multivariate OR (95% CI): 2.376 (1.225–4.608), P=0.010) were independently associated with true RH. We conclude that true resistant hypertension is associated with silent target organ damage, especially UAE. In patients with suspected RH, assessment of 24 h ambulatory BP is the most accurate way to detect a population with high risk for target-organ damage. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited.
- Ambulatory-blood-pressure monitoring
- Resistant hypertension
- Urinary albumin excretion
- White-coat resistant hypertension