OBJECTIVE: Although the detrimental effect of increased mean blood pressure (BP) is well established, the role of the dynamic and circadian features of BP is less well defined but may be similarly important. In this prospective analysis of hypertensive patients from a tertiary hospital hypertension clinic, we investigated whether the presence of night-time systolic hypertension is associated with more pronounced end-organ damage as assessed by measures of pulse wave analysis (PWA) and pulse wave velocity (PWV). METHODS: A cohort of 222 consecutive hypertensive patients underwent ambulatory blood pressure measurements, PWA, PWV testing and collection of routine clinical data. Group differences and group-effects of daytime and night-time hypertension on target organ damage and cardiovascular risk parameters were analysed. RESULTS: Nocturnal hypertension was evident in more than half of the study population. PWV, central systolic, mean arterial and pulse pressure were higher in patients with nocturnal hypertension. Stratification into four groups according to daytime and night-time hypertension status revealed group differences in all outcome parameters. Posthoc testing for individual group differences demonstrated significant differences between fully controlled individuals and the group with high daytime and night-time BP. In a regression analysis for independent effects of categorical night-time and daytime hypertension, nocturnal hypertension was a significant predictor for all PWA and PWV outcomes. CONCLUSION: Nocturnal hypertension was a highly prevalent phenotype in this population and associated with increased central BP and more pronounced target organ damage as indicated by elevated PWV. Regression analysis confirmed the role of night-time hypertension as an independent explanatory variable for elevated PWV.