Do you have White Coat or Masked Hypertension?
Do you have White Coat or Masked Hypertension? You might need a home blood pressure monitor.
Does your blood pressure rise when you go to your doctor? White Coat Hypertension, sometimes referred to as “isolated hypertension” or “white coat syndrome” is defined as a phenomenon in people that have higher than their normal blood pressure in a clinical setting. More specifically, the blood pressure is >140/90 mmHg in the office and <135/85 mmHg at home. According to Hypertension Canada this phenomenon affects as many 30% of patients and they recommend confirming a patients BP levels with an “out-of-office” reference when medical professionals diagnose hypertension.
“Masked Hypertension” is the reverse of the White Coat condition and is potentially more insidious because your doctor will not likely suspect you have it. Patients with masked hypertension, while visiting their doctor present normal blood pressure levels, but actually do have high blood pressure that is uncontrolled. Estimates on how many people have masked hypertension vary, but studies have indicated as many as 20% of the population and there appears to be a link to long working hours.
Doctors recommend you monitor your blood pressure at home.
If your physician suspects you have either of these conditions they should recommend “out-of-office” blood pressure measurements to confirm your status, before you are prescribed medication. This will involve either wearing a blood pressure monitor for 24 hours, or monitoring your blood pressure at home for a week, measuring at specific times.
Using a home blood pressure monitor, the “7 Day Protocol” requires patients to monitor two times in the morning before breakfast and two times in the evening, 2 hours after dinner.
Both these measurement methods will establish your real average blood pressure and confirm whether you have White Coat or Masked Hypertension.
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Mark Beaton, Sr. Vice President of Marketing