Self-measuring blood pressure at home can rule out “white coat” and “masked” hypertension.
Given the heavy pervasiveness of hypertension and the risks that it poses to health and wellbeing, proper monitoring and management of blood pressure among the American population is of grave importance.
What are White Coat Hypertension and Masked Hypertension?
One common barrier to proper identification and treatment is a phenomenon experienced by many patients known as “white coat hypertension,” wherein their blood pressure readings are consistently higher when taken in a physician’s office than in other locations in the absence of a doctor. The opposite phenomenon — called “masked hypertension” — also exists, wherein blood pressure readings are lower when taken by a doctor or physician, but higher during everyday life. Both are bad, as they can lead to unnecessary treatment, or a lack of treatment that is actually needed.
These terms don’t apply to all people, but they are still common enough that there is always some level of uncertainty about blood pressure levels if they are only measured by a physician. Therefore, it is a good idea to combine blood pressure readings taken by a doctor with self-measurements done on your own.
How Does Self-Measurement Help?
Research has identified the following benefits to self-measurement of blood pressure outside of the doctor’s office:
- Home measurements are superior to those taken at a doctor’s office in that they are more reproducible and serve as better predictors of adverse cardiovascular events and mortality.
- Home measurements can provide a more accurate blood pressure baseline, helping to evaluate or rule out cases of “white coat hypertension” and “masked hypertension.”
- Those who self-measure at home are generally more engaged with their treatment than those who do not, leading to healthier lifestyle habits, stronger adherence to therapy, and lower blood pressure on average.
TruSense offers a Hypertension solution that includes a personal blood pressure meter for home use in combination with the TruSense app. Using TruSense to take personal blood pressure readings is a great way to identify whether or not you are experiencing white coat or masked hypertension.