What Is White Coat Syndrome?
Posting Date: 08/02/1999
A: You may be experiencing "white coat hypertension." Some people with normal blood pressure at home develop high readings in the doctor's office. In some cases blood pressure measurements may be 30 points higher. A few individuals are so reactive that their numbers may jump 75 mm above baseline when the nurse or doctor takes their pressure. Treatment of white coat hypertension remains controversial. Many physicians now believe that aggressive drug therapy for blood pressure that is high only in the doctor's office may lead to excessive costs and possible side effects. Check out our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment, which discusses this issue and describes medications such as Cardizem, Norvasc, Vasotec and Zestril.