Hypertension Research vol:33 issue:8 pages:757-766
Ambulatory blood pressure (BP) monitoring provides information not only on the BP level but also on the diurnal changes in BP. In the present review, we summarized the main findings of the International Database on Ambulatory BP in relation to Cardiovascular Outcome (IDACO) with regard to risk stratification based on BP variability. The predictive accuracy of daytime and nighttime BP and the night-to-day BP ratio depended on the disease outcome under study and treatment status, and differed for fatal outcomes compared with the composite of fatal and nonfatal diseases. An exaggerated morning surge, exceeding the 90th percentile of the population, is an independent risk factor for mortality and cardiovascular and cardiac events. Conversely, a sleep-trough or preawakening morning surge in systolic BP below 20 mm Hg is probably not associated with an increased risk of death or cardiovascular events. BP variability as captured by the average of the daytime and nighttime s.d. weighted for the duration of the daytime and nighttime interval (s.d.(dn)) and the average real variability (ARV(24)) predicted the outcome, but improved the prediction of the composite of all cardiovascular events by only 0.1%. In conclusion, the IDACO observations support the concept that BP variability adds to risk stratification, but above all highlight that 24-h ambulatory BP level remains the main predictor to be considered in clinical practice.