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Certain people’s blood pressure rises suddenly when visiting a doctor’s office, an unusual condition which is known as “white coat hypertension”. However, even if it may seems like something which should be ignored, a new study, which the New England Journal of Medicine published, claims otherwise. This mysterious condition reportedly affects about 30% of all American people. It occurs when the person’s blood pressure rises when at a doctor’s office as opposed to when it’s taken at home.
The general idea was that stress was actually involved in this phenomenon. However, it seems that is not really the case and “white coat hypertension” might signal something dangerous. According to the new study, people suffering from this condition had a risk of death which was twice as high when compared to normal people. Experts are saying that this condition is not a benign one. In fact, if a white coat makes your blood pressure rise, many other stress factors will do too. And this is not good at all.
The dangers of “white coat hypertension”
In order to reach this conclusion, the team of researchers followed 64,000 people over the course of five years. They think that usually, blood pressure taken at home is a much better indicator of a possible cardiovascular death. That is in comparison with readings at the doctor’s office. This is why doctors are encouraging patients to read their blood pressure at home, in the environment where they feel the most comfortable in.
It’s also important for people to know how to use a home blood pressure monitor. They should not drink caffeinated beverages, smoke or exercise within half an hour before measuring the blood pressure. Also, you should sit correctly, with your back straight and supported, most preferable on a chair, not on the sofa. Apart form this, make sure to measure it at the same time everyday and take multiple readings to be sure.
Image source: flickr