Cause of White Coat Hypertension

White coat hypertension is when an individual has a high blood pressure reading in a clinical setting but has a normal BP reading outside the clinic or hospital. There are a number of factors that may contribute about this occurrence.

Anxiety about a visit to the doctor or a clinic is the most considered cause of the white coat syndrome. An individual may either be excited or frightened by the thought or sight of doctors. Some even associate a visit to a clinic or doctor to pain or discomfort thus the mere thought of going to a medical facility initiates a negative psychological response.

Usually, a person is aware when he is feeling nervous or anxious. But many others are not aware as such. They may be thinking that they are relaxed but are not. Like hypertension, white coat syndrome has no symptoms and those that have it may not feel ill at all. This may also be one of the factors that contribute to the surprise of patients when the doctor tells them they may be suffering from white coat hypertension. There is a denial that comes with the doctor’s news since the individual himself is not aware of the underlying causes. That is the primary reason why the only real way to find out if an individual has white coat hypertension is to measure his blood pressure outside of a clinical or medical environment.

Many people with white coat syndrome go on to develop high blood pressure in the future. Many doctors believe that patients with white coat hypertension are at less risk of heart disease or stroke than someone who has consistent high blood pressure, but at a greater risk than someone who has normal blood pressure at all times. This makes the determination of the real cause of white coat hypertension even more baffling to doctors.

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