Monday, March 16, 2009

Tip #3 - Do you suffer from "white-coat" hypertension?

What is "white-coat" hypertension?
If your home blood-pressure measurements are consistently lower than blood-pressure measured at your doctor's office, you might suffer from a common condition called "white-coat" hypertension.
So what is your real blood-pressure?
Both measurements are true. Physiologically, "white-coat" hypertension means that your body is probably more reactive to stressful events. This means that you probably have elevated blood-pressure many times during the day that you may not be aware of.
Should I be concerned about "white-coat" hypertension?
"White-Coat" hypertension is not as dangerous as sustained hypertension (hypertension which is present all the time). However, individuals who have "white-coat" hypertension may have a higher risk of complications and cardiovascular disease than those with completely normal blood-pressure all the time. Another risk of "white-coat" hypertension is that individuals with this condition may develop sustained hypertension at a later time.
So what can be done about it?
Learn how to deal with daily stress. More on this in tomorrow's tip.
Daily home blood-pressure monitoring has been shown to somewhat reduce "white-coat" hypertension, although it's not clear if it reduces the long term risk of high reactivity to stress.
RESPeRATE has been proven to virtually eliminate "white-coat" hypertension. Dr. William Elliot presented these findings at the 2005 American Society of Hypertension annual meeting.

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