White Coat Syndrome: Causes and Treatments

White coat hypertension or white coat syndrome is a condition occuring when a patient has high blood pressure on a visit to the doctor. Hypertension is observed in some individuals if they are in a hospital or near to a nurse or doctor. It is said that these people have white coat syndrome. Usually the white coat syndrome is detected in adults, however rarely it can be observed in children as well.

Hypertension is abnormally high rates of blood pressure that can lead to certain health conditions. People with white coat syndrome generally have normal blood pressure which elevates only in hospitals. Mostly they feel extremely nervous and might avoid doctors and hospitals at any cost.

Causes and potential complications

In fact, the cause of white coat syndrome is unknown. But, there are some factors which might trigger the development of the white coat syndrome. The most frequent cause of this condition is fear of doctors. If a person has had bad situations related to hospitals in the past, he or she may experience a fear of hospitals. Fear of diseases and medical procedures can trigger anxiety in people. Some people are conscious that they may have a particular disease and they deliberately avoid visiting the doctor.

As a matter of fact this condition can pose risks to the patients. Actually white coat syndrome might be as harmful as hypertension itself. A significant rise in blood pressure seen in white coat syndrome poses all the health risks caused by real hypertension. The type of complications is determined by several conditions. The main one is the duration of hypertension symptoms. If it stays for a long time, a patient is at a risk of developing a heart disease.


It is necessary to check whether a patient is actually experiencing white coat syndrome. For this end it is necessary to measure the patient?s blood pressure at different time periods in and out of a medical institution. If there is a drastic change in the measurements, it proves that the patient suffers from white coat syndrome.

Treatments for hypertension and white coat syndrome are different. Sometimes doctors prescribe drugs to lower the elevated blood pressure, but, this won?t prevent the problem. There are various psychological therapies intended to help you cope with white coat hypertension. First of all, it is necessary to eradicate the fear out of the patient’s mind. Second, it is better to use counseling to manage the condition and it is better for people affected by this health problem not to go to a hospital alone.

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