Ambulatory monitoring of blood pressure: the importance of blood pressure during work
Studies of 24-hour blood pressure (BP) patterns in patients with mild untreated hypertension have shown that BP is highest while at work, intermediate while at home, and lowest during sleep. Since the majority of these patients had sedentary jobs, the higher pressures during work are attributed to psychosocial factors rather than to physical activity.
Three lines of evidence support the view that work blood pressure could have a disproportionate effect on target organ damage. Firstly, left ventricular hypertrophy correlates closely with 24-hour ambulatory BP on a working but not on a non-working day; secondly, patients showing higher work BP are more likely to have left ventricular dysfunction; and thirdly, patients with higher work systolic BP are more likely to have ventricular premature contractions.
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