ARTICLE

Masked hypertension in elderly managerial employees and retirees

Clin Exp Hypertens. 2008 Apr;30(3):203-11. Yamasue K, Hayashi T, Ohshige K, Tochikubo O, Souma T. Department of Preventive Medicine, Yokohama City University, Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan.

Masked hypertension is reported to have the same level of hazard risk of cardiovascular mortality and stroke morbidity as sustained hypertension. The number of managerial employees suffering from cardiovascular disease and stroke is known to be greater than other employee. The aim of this study was to compare the 24-h blood pressure (BP) recordings between elderly male managerial employees and retirees and to propose a strategy for identifying masked hypertension.

A total of 38 males (16 managerial employees aged 50-69 years and 22 retirees aged 60-65 years) who were not taking any antihypertensive medications participated in this study. Their 24-h BP was measured by an ambulatory BP monitoring device. Daytime (9:00-17:00 h) BPs of the employees (mean, 139/92 mm Hg) were significantly higher than in the retirees (mean 124/80 mm Hg), while there was no difference in BP before and during sleep. In all, 5 of 16 employees (31%) who were diagnosed as normotensive (<140/90 mm Hg) at a periodic health check had hypertension (>135/85 mm Hg) in the morning measured by ambulatory BP monitoring, while 6 (38%) had a similar level of hypertension during the daytime (9:00-17:00 h). These individuals were diagnosed as having masked hypertension. Multiple regression analyses showed that the job was the only factor that contributed to the difference in BP in the subjects during the daytime.

This finding suggested that job stress seemed to be one of the main causes of masked hypertension.

We argue that more frequent measurements of BP at the work place are necessary to identify subjects with masked hypertension.

 

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