What is White Coat Hypertension?

White coat hypertension, more commonly known as white coat syndrome, is a phenomenon in which people exhibit a blood pressure level above the normal range, in a clinical setting, though they do not exhibit it in other settings. It is believed that the phenomenon is due to anxiety experienced during a clinic visit.

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition where the force of the blood against the walls of the arteries in the body is too high.

Normal blood pressure levels are around 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Doctors usually define hypertension as a blood pressure reading of anything above 140/90 mmHg.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 32 percent of American adults have high blood pressure.

While the exact causes of high blood pressure are not known, there is a variety of factors that can increase the risk of hypertension, such as:

• obesity

• lack of physical activity

• lifestyle choices, such as smoking or drinking too much alcohol

• a high-stress lifestyle

• too much salt intake

• a family history of high blood pressure

• older age

• thyroid disorders

• sleep apnea

• kidney disease

• genetics