This study was to assess left ventricular diastolic function in young white-coat hypertensive subjects <50 years of age without hypertrophy. Hypertensive patients (systolic or diastolic blood pressure ≤140 or ≤90 mmHg on all three visits) were defined as white coat if their average 24- hour blood pressure was <127/81 mmHg and at least 18/16 mmHg lower than their average office values. We chose three groups balanced for sex, age, and body mass index: 50 sustained hypertensives, 25 white-coat hypertensives, and 25 normotensives. Office blood pressure was similar in white-coat and sustained hypertensives. Ambulatory blood pressure was comparable in white-coat hypertensives and normotensives. Compared with normotensives, white-coat hypertensives had more impaired diastolic function: increased ratio of late to early filling velocities, raised ratio of late to early time-velocity integral, prolonged deceleration time, and lengthened isovolumic relaxation time (P<.001, P<.001, P=.002, and P<.001, respectively). No difference was noticed between white-coat and sustained hypertensives. Compared with normotensives, white-coat hypertensives had higher values of plasma and urine norepinephrine (P<.001 and P<.001, respectively), plasma and urine aldosterone (P<.001 and P=.002, respectively), plasma renin activity (P=.04), total cholesterol (P=.001), and LDL cholesterol (P<.001). No difference was observed between white-coat and sustained hypertensives. Within white-coat hypertensives, 24-hour urinary aldosterone closely correlated with the ratio of late to early filling velocities (P=.008), and plasma and 24-hour urinary norepinephrine correlated well with total cholesterol (P=.037 and P=.006, respectively). No correlation was detected within the sustained hypertensives and normotensives. Heightened neurohumoral activity clearly supported the progression of diastolic dysfunction and metabolic abnormality in white-coat hypertensives.
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