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Anxiety causes ‘white coat effect’

A new study shows that an increase in anxiety causes the ‘white coat effect’, where blood pressure rises when a doctor or ‘white coat’ is examining them.

The study results appear in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

The white coat effect study

Researchers examined 238 patients aged 18 to 80 years in a hypertension clinic. The patients had doctor appointments and also wore a portable blood pressure measuring device at home.

The study showed 9% of the patients had higher blood pressure when doctors measured it compared to when readings were taken at home. These readings coincided with higher anxiety.

Comments on the study

Lead author Prof Ogedegbe from New York University School of Medicine said, “Doctors should not be taking a blood-pressure reading. Automated devices should be doing it.”

Matthew Lucks, M.D., a cardiologist at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla in San Diego, said, “It’s best for patients to get blood-pressure readings at home.


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Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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