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Preventing 'white coat' hypertension

Researchers at the University of Southampton say that docotors are not the best people to assess blood pressure. White coat hypertension is a well-known problem - it means that your blood pressure //may go up when it's measured by a doctor (the 'white coat') but be lower if a practice nurse measures it, or if you measure it yourself. Researchers in, England, have been looking at the white coat effect in a group of 150 patients with high blood pressure (hypertension). Eight doctors and three practice nurses also took part in the study.

More reliable readings were acquired when measurements were made by the nurses, or the patients themselves, at home. Doctors can prescribe or change medication, but they should not be the ones to take the blood pressure measurements if they want to make the right decisions on treatment.


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