Many patients with chronic kidney disease have hypertension that is not detected in the clinic, and such ‘masked’ hypertension is linked with increased risks of kidney, heart, and vascular damage, according to a study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Paul Drawz, MD, MHS, MS, from the University of Minnesota and his colleagues studied 1,492 men and women with CKD who were enrolled in the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study.

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The team found that nearly 28% of participants had masked hypertension, meaning that their blood pressure was normal in a clinician’s office but was elevated outside the clinic. Elevated blood pressure outside the clinic was a risk factor for kidney, heart, and vascular damage regardless of whether the clinic blood pressure was normal or elevated.

“Our findings support the recommendations that patients check their blood pressure outside the usual doctor’s office setting, either by 24-hour blood pressure monitoring as done in our study, or by monitoring blood pressure at home,” said Drawz. “Of course, patients should discuss their blood pressure and its treatment with their doctor.”