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Study: Treatment-Resistant Hypertension Overdiagnosed

Some Patients May Have 'White Coat' Hypertension Instead

‘Masked’ Hypertension

The new findings seem plausible to Robert A. Phillips, MD, PhD, director of the Heart and Vascular Center of Excellence and senior vice president of UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Mass.

“If they don’t have diabetes, kidney disease, are not a smoker, and don’t have sleep apnea and other target organ damage, then we can say go ahead and do home monitoring to see if they have white coat hypertension,” he says.

While white coat hypertension does not typically require treatment it should still be monitored every year, Phillips says.

The opposite of white coat hypertension is masked hypertension. This occurs when blood pressure is normal in the doctor’s office, but elevated elsewhere, he explains.

“We don’t have enough data to say what to do about masked hypertension, but people with masked hypertension may be the ones who need ambulatory monitoring because these people think they are well-controlled, but they are not and may be a higher risk,” he says.

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