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Old 11-10-2004, 03:16 PM   #1
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White Coat Article.... Interesting

What is white coat hypertension?

A single elevated blood pressure reading in the doctor's office can be misleading because the elevation may be only temporary. Presumably, such an elevation is caused by the patient's anxiety that is related to the stress of the examination. In fact, the suggestion has been made that about one out of four people that are thought to have mild hypertension actually may have normal blood pressure when they are outside of the physician's office. This sort of elevated blood pressure, that is, an increase noted only in the doctor's office, is called white coat hypertension. The name, of course, suggests that the white coat, which is symbolic for the physician, induces the patient's anxiety and a passing increase in blood pressure. A diagnosis of white coat hypertension might imply that it is not a clinically important or dangerous finding.

 
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