What is White Coat Hypertension
What is White coat hypertension, also more popularly known as white coat syndrome. The term comes from hypertension, which is the medical term for high blood pressure and “white coat” which refers to a doctor’s white coat. Thus, white coat hypertension is a condition where a person is showing signs of high blood pressure when they go to a clinic or a hospital but their blood pressure is in a normal condition when they are at home or elsewhere. In other words, a person who has white coat syndrome has a high reading only when their blood pressure is measured in a clinical or medical setting. Until now, this is still a phenomenal condition and the exact cause, diagnosis and treatment have not been determined.
Another side of white coat hypertension happens in countries where health care is unregulated therefore doctors charge exorbitant professional fees for consultation, use of medical equipment and medicine. There are dishonest medical practitioners that will lead a patient to believe, especially wealthy patients, that they have high blood pressure and must seek treatment immediately even if their condition is not as worse as they have been told.
Statistics show that over 1 billion people in the world have high blood pressure. It is a dangerous condition that can lead to a variety of other deadly diseases such as heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. Other studies even show it also plays a role in blindness and in some rare dementia cases. Experts say the number of people with high blood pressure can rise to over 1.5 billion by 2025 considering the rise in other diseases related to high blood pressure such as obesity and diabetes all over the world. That’s the reason why treatment of high blood pressure is a growing concern.
This poses a problem to white coat hypertension patients. Although most people with consistently high readings have high blood pressure but there are some that will have white coat syndrome. Those with white coat syndrome blood pressure are sometimes misdiagnosed and are mistakenly put into the hypertensive category. Thus, many of them are given unnecessary treatment for their condition. Also, such cases may lead to other complications in other organs due to wrong medical treatment. Many white coat syndrome patients do not really understand and know about their condition not until a major medical emergency occurs. The sad thing is there are a number of white coat hypertension cases that were not given proper medical attention not until it was too late.
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