Cardiovascular events occur most frequently in the morning. The morning surge in blood pressure may be associated with hypertensive target organ damage and subsequent cardiovascular risk in hypertensive patients. In our prospective study on elderly hypertensive patients, the morning blood pressure surge (defined as the increase from the lowest blood pressure during sleep to the average of the first 2 h after waking) was significantly associated with silent hypertensive cerebrovascular disease and subsequent stroke risk. This association was independent of age and 24-h ambulatory blood pressure levels. In addition, even after controlling for these factors and status of silent cerebrovascular disease, the contribution of the morning blood pressure surge remained significant, and a 10 mmHg increase in systolic morning blood pressure surge increase the stroke risk by 22%. A related factor is orthostatic hypertension, which might be associated with increased sympathetic activity, and which is significantly associated with an increase in morning blood pressure surge and ambulatory blood pressure variability. A possible implication is that, in addition to strict blood pressure control, antihypertensive medication that targets exaggerated morning blood pressure may achieve more effective prevention of cardiovascular events in hypertensive patients.
- Cardiovascular event
- Hypertensive target organ damage
- Morning surge of blood pressure