Increase in carotid intima-media thickness in grade I hypertensive subjects: white-coat versus sustained hypertension.Hypertension 2008; 51(5):1300-5H
We studied 74 never-treated grade I hypertensive subjects aged 18 to 45 years and 20 normotensive control subjects to define the rate of increase in carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and the potential role played by the various risk factors. IMT was assessed as mean IMT and as maximum IMT in the right and left common carotid artery, carotid bulb, and internal carotid artery at baseline and at the 5-year follow-up. In grade I hypertensive subjects, both mean IMT and mean of maximum IMT were significantly higher compared with baseline values. Compared with normotensive subjects, both mean IMT and maximum IMT increased significantly (at least P<0.01) in each carotid artery segment. The increase in cumulative IMT was 3.4-fold for mean IMT and 3.2-fold for mean of maximum IMT. Levels of mean arterial pressure at 24-hour monitoring and total serum cholesterol were factors potentially linked to the increment in mean IMT and mean of maximum IMT. Age was also relevant for the increment in mean of maximum IMT, whereas body mass index played some role in the increment of mean IMT. During the follow-up, mean IMT and mean of maximum IMT increased to a greater degree in white-coat hypertensive subjects (n=35) and sustained hypertensive subjects (n=39) than in normotensive control subjects. No differences were found between white-coat hypertensive subjects and sustained hypertensive subjects for both mean IMT and maximum IMT. Levels of mean arterial pressure at 24-hour monitoring affected the increment in IMT in both white-coat hypertensive subjects and sustained hypertensive subjects. In conclusion, our findings indicate that carotid IMT is greater and grows faster in white-coat hypertensive subjects than in normotensive subjects without significant differences with sustained hypertensive patients.