Previous studies have shown that in the treated fraction of the hypertensive population, blood pressure (BP) control is less common for systolic BP (SBP) than for diastolic BP (DBP) as measured in the physician's office. Whether this phenomenon is artifactually attributable to a temporary increase in BP owing to a "white-coat" effect or represents a true rarity of SBP control in daily life is unknown.
Data were obtained from the PAMELA (Pressioni Arteriose Monitorate E Loro Associazioni) study population, which involved individuals ranging in age from 25 to 74 years who were representative of the residents of Monza (a city near Milan, Italy) and who were stratified according to sex. Office (an average of 3 sphygmomanometric measurements), home (an average of morning and evening self-measurements using a semiautomatic device), and 24-hour ambulatory (average of measurements performed every 20 minutes during the day and at night) BP values were obtained in all study subjects. In the treated hypertensive patients, BP was regarded as controlled if office values were less than 140 (SBP) or 90 (DBP) mm Hg. Home and 24-hour average SBP and DBP were regarded as controlled if the values were lower than 132/83 and 125/79 mm Hg, respectively.
In the study participants (n = 2051), the number of patients with hypertension who were receiving antihypertensive treatment was 398, or approximately 42% of all individuals with hypertension. In-office SBP control by treatment was less frequent than DBP control (29.9% vs 41.5%, P<.05). This was also the case when home and 24-hour SBP and DBP control was considered (38.3% vs 54.6% and 50.8 vs 64.9%, respectively, P<.05 for both).
In the PAMELA population, SBP control by treatment was much less frequent than DBP control by treatment. This was the case not only for office BP values but also for home and 24-hour BP values, demonstrating that inadequate SBP control is not limited to artificial BP-measuring methods but occurs in daily life.