David Ayman, MD: an early investigator of clinical hypertension.

Barry J. Materson, Baudouin Leclercq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Dr. David Ayman (1901-1986) was an astute clinician and observer who challenged medical dogma by performing placebo-controlled studies and by meticulous measurement of blood pressure under standardized conditions. He demonstrated that almost all drugs reported to have an antihypertensive effect in the early 20th century had achieved nothing more than placebo response. He noted the marked variability of blood pressure and devised methods to reduce that variability. These observations led to his publications concerning what is now known as "white coat" or office hypertension. He determined blood pressure personally in 1524 members of 277 families over three generations and made observations on the hereditary nature of hypertension that countered the single-gene thinking of the day. His work is proof that clinical inquisitiveness, hard work, and the courage to challenge conventional wisdom can result in significant contributions to medicine and science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-223
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of clinical hypertension (Greenwich, Conn.)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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