White coat hypertension may increase the risk of cardiovascular mortality

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Noida News, 14 Oct 2019 : Recent statistics indicate that about 15% to 30% of people diagnosed with high blood pressure at a doctor’s clinic have white coat hypertension. There is a need to raise awareness on the fact that although white coat hypertension may be a precursor to the actual condition, it can increase a person’s risk of heart diseases and associated mortality. Untreated white coat hypertension may increase the risk of dying from heart disease by more than 100%.

White coat hypertension describes a disorder in which a person develops high blood pressure only in the presence of doctors. The condition could be due to underlying anxiety. It is imperative to monitor blood pressure regularly and make certain necessary lifestyle changes to avert the risk

Speaking about this, Dr SK Agarwal, Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Kailash Hospital and Heart Institute, Noida, said, “Wide fluctuation in blood pressure can indicate an increased risk of heart disease and early death. It is therefore imperative that people diagnosed with white coat hypertension are treated right at the outset as it can indicate the risk of developing high blood pressure later. In a large study of people taking BP medication, it was found that variations of more than 14 mmHg in systolic BP readings between doctor visits was linked to a 25% increased risk of heart failure. The variations may be a sign of increasing damage to the arteries, particularly stiffening and therefore treatment and management are a must.”

Adding further, Dr Agarwal, said, ““Evaluating both daytime and nighttime blood pressure is crucial for predicting all cardiovascular events. Blood pressure readings obtained during one’s sleep is more accurate in helping predict all causes of mortality when compared to those obtained during waking hours. Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring or ABPM is globally accepted as the gold-standard method towards detecting hypertension since it evaluates the patient’s BP continuously over a period of 24 hours and helps diagnose white coat hypertension.“

It is possible to reduce the likelihood of heart disease and associated complications with an accurate diagnosis. With an automated device, a person can also be left alone in a room while the readings are being taken. This way, the stress surrounding the visit to a clinic is reduced and a more accurate reading can be obtained.
While medication and lifestyle changes can avert the risk of cardiovascular diseases in people with hypertension, those who develop complications may require treatment. Angioplasty is a treatment that is used to restore and improve blood flow. A long, thin tube (catheter) is inserted into the narrowed part of the artery. A wire with a deflated balloon is then passed through the catheter to the narrowed area. The balloon is inflated, compressing the deposits against the artery walls. A stent is often left in the artery. Drug-eluting stents release medication to help keep the arteries open. In CABG, the surgeon creates a graft to bypass blocked coronary arteries using a vessel from another part of the body. This allows blood to flow around the blocked or narrowed coronary artery.

Some tips to manage and prevent high blood pressure.
• Maintain a healthy weight People who are overweight are two to six times more likely to develop high blood pressure. Reducing even a small amount of weight can help in preventing high blood pressure.
• Get active Indulge in light physical activity such as brisk walking. At least 30 minutes of exercise every day can help in lowering the risk of high blood pressure.
• Reduce salt intake Cutting back on salt also prevents blood pressure from rising. Go easy on processed foods and reduce the amount of dietary salt. This can go a long way in reducing blood pressure.
• Drink in moderation Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure. Limit drinks to two per day for men and one per day for women.
• Reduce stressStress is a major contributing factor for blood pressure. Go for relaxation techniques or yoga to help reduce stress levels.

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Disclaimer: “Any and all the Information provided in the article are independent views expressed by Dr SK Agarwal, Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Kailash Hospital and Heart Institute, Noidafor general overview and educational purposes only.”

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