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White coat hypertension may not be so benign. (Cardiovascular Disease Risk).

PHOENIX, ARIZ. - Whitecoathpertension may not be a benign condition, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society.

Serina A. Neumann, Ph.D., subjected 40 patients with white coat hypertension to six laboratory stressors, each of which lasted 6 minutes. Groups of 40 patients with persistent hypertension and 40 normotensive subjects were exposed to the same stressors.

The hypertensive groups were matched with the white coat group on the basis of race and blood pressure: The normotensive group was matched with the white coat group's normotensive readings; the hypertensive group was matched with the white-coat group's hypertensive readings.

The patients with white coat hypertension had a similar degree of cardiovascular reactivity (as measured by systolic and diastolic blood pressure) as did the persistently hypertensive patients. Both of those groups had significantly more cardiovascular reactivity than did the normotensive subjects.

Hypertension was defined as a systolic blood pressure greater than 140 mm Hg or a diastolic blood pressure greater than 90 mm Hg. Those with white coat hypertension met this definition in the clinic but had normal blood pressure on ambulatory measurement.

The data suggest that white coat hypertensives "may be at risk for cardiovascular disease, similar to hypertensives," Dr. Neumann said in an interview.

White coat hypertension appears to be a classic overresponse to emotional stress. Repeated, stress-induced, exaggerated increases in blood pressure can put them at risk for cardiovascular disease.
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Article Details
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Author:Finn, Robert
Publication:Clinical Psychiatry News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2003
Words:236
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