Hypertension Risk Factors

White Coat Hypertension- Is It Dangerous?

White coat hypertension is thought to be an anxiety expressed by patients visiting clinics or hospitals. In people (both patients as well as non-patients) the anxiety is usually accompanied by elevated blood pressure levels. The hypertension is called "White Coat" because the coat is symbolic of the institution per se.

Why Focus on White Coat Hypertension?
Focus on white coat hypertension arose after a wide discrepancy was observed in the blood pressure readings taken at home and those taken at the clinics. While at home and during night, the amount of stress experienced by the patient was far less than daily levels, stress levels shot up way too high when patients came to clinics. What was interesting was that even people with normal blood pressure levels started showing signs of hypertension while in clinic.

This discrepancy has problematized formulation of treatment plans for patients as the real blood pressure figure is still a matter of speculation. For those who have normal blood pressure outside but show white coat hypertension, tests can wrongfully indicate hypertension. A mistake could be committed by the physician if he/she recommends treatment on the basis of this.

What Can Individuals Do If They Suffer From White Coat Hypertension?
If anybody comes across a discrepancy in their home blood pressure reading and those taken in a clinic, they should know that they are experiencing white coat hypertension. This is a perfectly normal situation and they do not need to panic. There is no need for any type of treatment for hypertension.

What Causes White Coat Hypertension?
White coat hypertension is a result of surge in anxiety levels when individuals find themselves in clinic environment. Most often, it is the general environment of pain, suffering, anxiety and death found in all health care institutions which is responsible for increased stress levels and subsequent hypertension.

Is There a Cause of Concern If White Coat Hypertension is diagnosed?
The answer is both "yes" and "no". While not everybody would become permanently afflicted from hypertension if they are experiencing White Coat hypertension, the risk could be higher in some people. People who would face problems would be those who feel anxious on a more regular basis outside the clinic's environment.

How to Fight It?
White coat hypertension is the body's spontaneous response when facing stress. The only manner in which it can be fought is by calming yourself psychologically. You should be able to exercise certain amount of control on your thought processes which get affected by what they see inside a clinic or hospital. A dispassionate outlook of the conditions around you can help you regulate your thought processes. Further, a healthy lifestyle can also help you curb any possibility of surge in blood pressure levels.