High blood pressure in doctor’s office could be fear of “white coat”

U.S. (KXAN) — We go to the doctor to stay healthy, but now experts say that may not be enough when it comes to monitoring your blood pressure for hypertension.

An estimated 15 to 30 percent of people who have high blood pressure in the doctor’s office actually have normal or only slightly elevated blood pressure before and after their appointments. Others only have higher blood pressure in the doctor’s office.

Dr. Mark Ebell says “Some people are just unhappy seeing the doctor, they might be a little nervous, they might have had some caffeine, they might be rushing around, they may be in pain.”

It’s sometimes referred to as “white coat hypertension.” This means they associate a certain level of fear with going to the doctor, which elevates their blood pressure more than normal.

Some doctors recommend wearing an electronic blood pressure cuff for 24 hours while your blood pressure is checked every 20 or 30 minutes to get a true reading.

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