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High Blood Pressure

White Coat Hypertension

Monitoring blood pressure in and outside of medical facilities may reveal evidence of white coat hypertension

White coat hypertension refers to high blood pressure in a patient only when in a medical facility. White coat refers to a doctor's lab coat, implying that the patient's blood pressure increases when away from their normal environment, particularly in a medical setting. Basically, the patient is scared of the doctor.

Individuals who suffer from white coat hypertension may have consistently normal blood pressure readings outside of medical facilities.

White coat hypertension
White coat hypertension

White coat hypertension is caused primarily by anxiety and nervousness. Blood pressure varies throughout the day, depending on what the individual is engaged in, such as feelings of pain or excitement.

White coat hypertension can affect individuals of any age and gender. Since there are no symptoms of white coat hypertension, the monitoring of blood pressure both inside and outside of medical facilities is the key to understanding and managing this condition.

Often an ABPM will be conducted, in order to test the blood pressure of an individual over the course of a 24-hour period. (ABPM means Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring, and is basically a machine strapped to your arm that takes your blood pressure for a full day.) This enables medical professionals to determine blood pressure levels in a variety of environments, thus determining if there is white coat hypertension.

As with many other medical conditions, white coat hypertension and high blood pressure in general can be reduced or prevented by a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Often the presence of white coat hypertension leads to the development of high blood pressure in individuals at a later date.


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