Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in patients with hypertension in COVID-19 pandemic – The Study of European Society of Hypertension (ESH ABPM COVID-19 Study)

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the subsequent lockdown profoundly affected almost all aspects of daily life including health services worldwide. The traditional risk factors for increased blood pressure (BP) and hypertension may also demonstrate significant changes during the pandemic. This study aims to determine the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on BP values and variability in 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM).

This is a multi-center, observational, retrospective, comparative study. Along with clinical data, office BP and ABPM will be collected in adult patients with treated arterial hypertension. There will be two groups in the study. Group 1 will consist of participants who have undergone two ABPM recordings – the second one occurring during the COVID-19 pandemic, announced by the WHO on 11.03.2020, and the first one 9-15 months prior to the second. Participants in Group 2 will have two repeated ABPM recordings – both performed before the pandemic within a similar 9-15-month interval. We will calculate the changes in averaged 24-hour blood pressure values between two ABPMs and compare these changes between groups. In addition, we are planning to examine differences in averaged daytime and nighttime BP changes, BP variability, dipper, and non-dipper status as well as white coat, masked, and resistant hypertension prevalence rates. We will also assess factors associated with BP changes. The target sample size will amount to at least 590 participants with repeated ABPM in each of the study groups, which means a total of 2360 ABPMs.

Expected outcomes: As a result, we expect to identify the impact of a COVID-19 pandemic on blood pressure control and the quality of medical care in order to develop the strategy to control cardiovascular risk factors during unpredictable global events.

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