white coat hypertension

noun

variants or white-coat hypertension or white coat syndrome or white-coat syndrome or less commonly white coat effect or white-coat effect
: a temporary elevation in a patient's blood pressure that occurs when measured in a medical setting (such as a physician's office) and that is usually due to anxiety on the part of the patient
Because of white coat hypertension, guidelines for checking blood pressure in both children and adults recommend that after multiple readings in the office, worrisome findings should be confirmed by 24-hour measurement outside the office.Aaron E. Carroll
… there is a condition called white-coat hypertension, which yields higher readings of blood pressure in a doctor's office than occur in real life.Allan Bruckheim
If you suffer from white coat syndrome, your blood pressure jumps as soon as a doctor or nurse approaches you.Fred Cicetti

Examples of white coat hypertension in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For instance, some people experience 'white coat hypertension,' where their blood pressure spikes in a medical setting due to anxiety. Jake Parks, Discover Magazine, 7 Dec. 2023 People with white-coat hypertension regularly experience higher blood pressure in clinical settings as a result of anxiety or fear. Marion Renault, The Atlantic, 6 Aug. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'white coat hypertension.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

from the white laboratory coats worn by physicians

First Known Use

1981, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of white coat hypertension was in 1981

Dictionary Entries Near white coat hypertension

Cite this Entry

“White coat hypertension.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/white%20coat%20hypertension. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

white coat hypertension

noun
variants or white-coat hypertension or white coat syndrome or white-coat syndrome also white coat effect or white-coat effect
: a temporary elevation in a patient's blood pressure that occurs when measured in a medical setting (as a physician's office) and that is usually due to anxiety on the part of the patient
Conventional measurements by physicians in the office can be inaccurate because of variable reactions by the patients (white coat hypertension) and errors in technique.Internal Medicine News
white-coat hypertension, in which a patient's BP is elevated when measured by health care personnel but is otherwise normal, occurs in approximately 20 percent of hypertensive patients.Suzanne Oparil et al., Scientific American Medicine Bulletin
… an occasional office blood pressure measurement may not be a reliable indicator, due to white coat syndrome and blood pressure variability.Nancy Groves, Medical Economics
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