Masked and White-Coat Hypertension Could Signal More Serious Complications

Experiencing temporary spikes in blood pressure may put you at greater risk of cardiac events.

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People with "masked" or "white-coat" hypertension arent safe simply because they dont experience the type of sustained high blood pressure that warrants a variety of daily medications and raises the risks of heart attack, stroke and other complications. According to recent research in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association, both conditions significantly raise the risk of sustained hypertension. In white-coat hypertension, a patients blood pressure is only elevated in the doctors office, but not in everyday life. With masked hypertension, a patient may have normal blood pressure in a doctors office, but experience spikes at other times. "For people with either masked or white-coat hypertension, the true test is a 24-hour blood pressure monitor," says Cleveland Clinic cardiologist and hypertension expert Donald Vidt, MD. "And the awake, daytime blood pressure is probably the biggest key to cardiovascular risk."
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