Target organ damage is important for global cardiovascular risk assessment. The aim of this study was to explore the association between the blood pressure profile and end-organ damage in a hypertensive non-diabetic cohort.
A total of 560 consecutive hypertensive nondiabetic patients (mean age: 58.2 ± 13.3 years, 221 men) were included in the study. All patients underwent thorough physical examination including fundoscopic examination. First morning urine samples were obtained from each patient and measurement of the albumin-to-creatinine ratio in first morning urine collection samples was used for diagnosis of microalbuminuria. All patients underwent a 24-h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and were grouped as dippers and non-dippers according to the presence or absence of >10% decrease in blood pressure during the night, respectively.
The non-dipper group consisted of 247 patients with a non-dipper blood pressure profile, 31 patients with reverse dipping and 4 patients with extreme dipping. Non-dipper patients were significantly older. Coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, hypertensive retinopathy and microalbuminuria were significantly more prevalent in the non-dipper patients. Non-dipping hypertension increased the risk of hypertensive retinopathy by 1.89 times (95% confidence interval, CI:1.35–2.65, p < 0.001) and the risk of microalbuminuria by 2.23 times (95% CI:1.49–3.33, p < 0.001). Non-dipping hypertension was still significantly associated with hypertensive retinopathy and microalbuminuria when adjusted by age and sex.
Non-dipping hypertension was associated with increased risk of hypertensive retinopathy and microalbuminuria. Blood pressure profiles should also be considered in assessing the risk for hypertensive patients.