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High Anxiety and White Coat Hypertension

Robert A. Carels, PhD; Andrew Sherwood, PhD; James A. Blumenthal, PhD
JAMA. 1998;279(3):197-198. doi:10.1001/jama.279.3.193.
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To the Editor.—Blood pressure (BP) measured in the clinic is often abnormally high in new patients and is not representative of lower pressures recorded on subsequent visits.1,2 Anxiety is widely believed to play a role in elevating blood pressure measured in the clinic, but this assumption has not been systematically evaluated. We examined the relative effects of trait anxiety and clinic BP in 147 individuals with suspected mild hypertension (69 men, 78 women) aged 25 to 70 years (mean [SD], 44.5 [10.2] years). The individuals were not receiving treatment for hypertension or anxiety, had not been diagnosed as having an anxiety or other mental health disorder, and consented to the institutional review board–approved research.


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