Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: high | blood | pressure | white | coat | hypertension

My BP Soars at Doc's Office

Monday, 26 Mar 2012 08:28 AM

Question: When I go to the doctor, my blood pressure is high. It was 142/95 during my last visit. When I take it at home, it’s never greater than 128/85. Do you think I need to go on medication?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
You could have "white coat hypertension." The term was coined because the health care professionals who measure your blood pressure sometimes wear white coats. It was thought that white coat hypertension was caused by the stress that doctor's appointments can create. Once you'd left the doctor's office, if your blood pressure normalized, there wasn't a problem.
However, some doctors think that white coat hypertension might signal that you're at risk of developing high blood pressure as a long-term condition. The same may also be true for people who have masked hypertension, meaning their blood pressure is normal at the doctor's office, but spikes periodically when measured in other settings. It's thought that even temporary increases in your blood pressure could develop into a long-term problem.
If you have white coat hypertension, talk to your doctor about home monitoring of your condition. This can help determine if your high blood pressure only occurs in the doctor's office, or if it's a persistent condition that needs treatment.

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Dr-Hibberd
You could have "white coat hypertension," which is caused by the stress of being in a doctors office.
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2012-28-26
Monday, 26 Mar 2012 08:28 AM
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