Up to 30% of patients who have high blood pressure in the surgery have normal readings at home or work. This is known as 'white coat hypertension' because visiting the doctor (in a white coat) causes anxiety and raises the blood pressure (hypertension).
White coat hypertension can be detected in 2 ways. You can take your blood pressure yourself at home and at work using a blood pressure testing device. Otherwise you can wear a small monitor on the body for 24 hours, which checks the pressure at regular intervals (ambulatory monitoring). These readings are then compared to those at the surgery.
If white coat hypertension is found, some people can reduce their blood pressure medication or even cease it altogether.
'Normal' blood pressure outside the surgery is < 135/85 during the day and 120/75 at night. Ask your GP for more info or visit http://www.heartfoundation.com.au/.
Please note this information was correct at time of printing.
For up to date information, speak to your doctor.Source: Summer 2005 Edition | Page 2
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