What is White Coat Hypertension?

High Blood Pressure and White Coat Hypertension

Individuals who suffer from high blood pressure should, in conjunction with their physician’s assistance, take every step necessary to control it. With so many prescription medications available to treat high blood pressure and the growing amount of information being made available to the medical community, you would think the issue of high blood pressure treatment would be clear cut. Unfortunately, the reality is not really black and white. A form of high blood pressure called white coat hypertension falls somewhere in the gray area.

What Exactly Is White Coat Hypertension?

White coat hypertension is a term that refers to elevated blood pressure that occurs only when a person is at the doctor’s office. There are some individuals who have normal blood pressure on a daily basis, but every time they go to the doctor’s office, they have a high blood pressure reading. Apparently, white coat hypertension can originate from the anxiety of visiting the doctor’s office.

Treating White Coat Hypertension

The issue of treating white coat hypertension is highly debated among the medical community. There haven’t been many studies conducted investigating white coat hypertension. The studies that have been conducted, however, suggest that patients who have white coat hypertension are not at much cardiovascular risk as patients with continual high blood pressure.

Telling The Difference Between High Blood Pressure and White Coat Hypertension

If you have been told that you have high blood pressure, but are curious as to whether or not you have white coat hypertension, mention the possibility to your physician. You might be advised to check your blood pressure at home or you also might be advised to undergo 24-hour blood pressure monitoring at home, using ambulatory monitoring, to determine if your high blood pressure is really white coat hypertension.

White Coat Hypertension Is Not A Rarity

Many people mistakenly believe that white coat hypertension is a very rare occurrence. This, however, just isn’t the case. It is estimated that as many as 20% of individuals with mild hypertension actually have white coat hypertension. If you think you may be one of them, start an active dialogue with your physician.

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