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White-Coat Hypertension Defined

Definition of White-Coat Hypertension

White-coat hypertension is defined as having an elevated systolic blood pressure between 140 and 180 mmHg while at the doctor's office, and a normal systolic blood pressure reading of less than 140 mmHg and a diastolic blood pressure of less than 90 mmHg when away from the doctor's office.

Making a Diagnosis

Tension and anxiety are known to cause temporary increases in blood pressure. This is one of the reasons that people with normal blood pressure have a high blood pressure reading while at the doctor's office.
If your doctor suspects white-coat hypertension, you may be asked to monitor your blood pressure at home or asked to wear a device called an ambulatory blood pressure monitor. This device is usually worn for 24 hours and can take blood pressure every 30 minutes.

Treatment for White-Coat Hypertension

Most healthcare providers agree that no treatment for white-coat hypertension is required. Several studies have shown no benefit from blood pressure medication used to treat white-coat hypertension. Furthermore, high blood pressure research studies have not shown white-coat hypertension to cause the negative effects of high blood pressure.
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