Blood pressure variability is the result of a complex interaction between external stimulation and several cardiovascular control mechanisms and is enhanced in all those conditions characterized by an impaired autonomic regulation of circulation. In particular, blood pressure variability is enhanced in hypertension over 24 h and may independently contribute to the cardiovascular complications of this condition. The paper by Mussalo and co-workers in this issue of Clinical Science offers additional information in this field by suggesting that different forms of hypertension are characterized by different patterns of blood pressure variability, and that these differences may reflect variations in the underlying autonomic regulation of the heart and blood vessels.

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