HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW ABOUT WHITE COAT HYPERTENSION? -

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW ABOUT WHITE COAT HYPERTENSION?

OVERVIEW OF HYPERTENSION

Hypertension is another name for high blood pressure. It can lead to severe complications and increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and death. Blood pressure is the force exerted by the blood against the walls of the blood vessels. The pressure depends on the work being done by the heart and the resistance of the blood vessels

ARE THERE AVAILABLE TREATMENT?

Actually, blood pressure is best regulated through the diet before it reaches the stage of hypertension and there is a range of treatment options. Lifestyle adjustments are the standard first-line treatment for hypertension including proper medication. Lifestyles such as regular physical exercise, stress reduction, cutting down alcohol intake and drug use, avoid smoking and unhealthy eating, are considered the best.

RISK FACTORS

A number of risk factors increase the chances of having hypertension and they are.

AGE: Hypertension is more common in people aged over 60 years. With age, blood pressure can increase steadily as the arteries become stiffer and narrower due to plaque build-up.

ETHNICITY: Some ethnic groups are believed to be more prone to hypertension than others.

OBESITY: Being overweight or obese is a key risk factor.

ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO USE: Consuming large amounts of alcohol regularly can increase a person’s blood pressure, as can smoking tobacco.

SEX: The lifetime risk is the same for males and females, but men are more prone to hypertension at a younger age. The prevalence tends to be higher in older women.

EXISTING HEALTH CONDITIONS: Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and high cholesterol levels can lead to hypertension, especially as people get older. Also, family history of high blood pressure and poorly managed stress can contribute to it.

CAUSES OF HYPERTENSION

Chronic kidney disease is a common cause of high blood pressure because the kidneys do not filter out fluid. This fluid excess leads to hypertension. What about white coat hypertension? What actually cause it?

WHAT IS WHITE COAT HYPERTENSION?

Many may opt to ask; what is WCH or white coat hypertension? Even doctors too have long been puzzled by white coat hypertension commonly known as WCH, a condition that causes a person’s blood pressure reading to be high in a doctor’s office but normal at home. White coat hypertension used to be considered a result of the stress induced by doctor’s appointments.

Recently, new research suggests that if white coat hypertension goes untreated, it could increase your chances of suffering from a cardiovascular event and dying from all causes. The authors of the new report set out to better explain the effects of white coat hypertension, which has been very mysterious to the medical community and outside it.

Researchers looked at data from 27 separate studies. Compared with people who have normal blood pressure, those with white coat hypertension were twice as likely to die from a cardiac event. They also had a 33% increased risk of death from all causes and a 36% increased risk for cardiac events, such as heart attacks. The authors say the evidence emphasizes the importance of recent guidelines recommending that people have their blood pressure checked outside of doctors’ offices to screen for hypertension.

It’s worth noting that older patients with white coat hypertension appear to be at greater risk than younger patients with the condition. In addition to older patients, patients with a history of cardiovascular disease, and patients with diabetes or chronic kidney disease might be more likely to suffer from white coat hypertension. The increased cardiovascular disease risk associated with white coat hypertension may be present only among older persons who have high cardiovascular disease risk.

Hypertension is the most preventable cause of premature mortality and disability worldwide. However, the study notes the importance of blood pressure monitoring outside of doctors’ offices in order to curb WCH among patients.

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