Silent and clinically overt stroke in older Japanese subjects with white-coat and sustained hypertension

Kazuomi Kario, Kazuyuki Shimada, Joseph E. Schwartz, Takefumi Matsuo, Satoshi Hoshide, Thomas G. Pickering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Whether white-coat hypertension in older subjects is a benign condition or is associated with an increased risk for stroke remains uncertain. White-coat hypertension as a risk factor for stroke was investigated in relation to silent cerebral infarct in the older Japanese population. METHODS: The prognosis for stroke was studied in 958 older Japanese subjects [147 normotensives (NT), 236 white-coat hypertensives (WCHT), and 575 sustained hypertensives (SHT)] in whom ambulatory blood pressure monitoring was performed in the absence of antihypertensive treatment. Silent cerebral infarct was also assessed using brain magnetic resonance imaging in 585 subjects (61%). RESULTS: Silent cerebral infarcts were found in 36% of NT (n = 70), 42% of WCHT (n = 154), and 53% of SHT (n = 361), and multiple silent cerebral infarcts(presence of > or = 2 silent cerebral infarcts) were found in 24% of NT, 25% of WCHT, and 39% of SHT. During a mean 42-month-follow-up period, clinically overt strokes occurred in 62 subjects [NT 3(2.0%), WCHT 5(2.1%), SHT 54(9.4%)], with 14 fatal cases [NT 1(0.7%), WCHT 0(0%), SHT 13 (2.3%)]. Cox regression analysis showed that age (p = 0.0001) and SHT [RR(95% confidence interval): 4.3 (1.3-14.2), p = 0.018] were independent stroke predictors, whereas WCHT was not significant. Adding presence/absence of silent cerebral infarct at baseline into this model, the RR (95% confidence interval) for silent cerebral infarct was 4.6 (2.0-10.5) (p = 0.003), and that of SHT was 5.5 (1.8-18.9) vs WCHT (p = 0.004) and 3.8 (0.88-16.7) vs NT (p = 0.07). CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of stroke in WCHT is similar to that of NT, and one fourth the risk in SHT in older subjects. Although silent cerebral infarct is a strong predictor of stroke, the difference in stroke prognosis between SHT and WCHT was independent of silent cerebral infarct. It is clinically important to distinguish WCHT from SHT even after assessment of target organ damage in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-54
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Cardiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes


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