Those who experience elevated blood pressure readings in a clinical setting, such as a doctor’s office or hospital, as a result of stress or anxiety are said to have white-coat hypertension, also known as white-coat syndrome. It frequently becomes worse and develops into generalized hypertension. The risk of kidney or cardiovascular illness is higher in patients with white-coat hypertension than it is in patients with normal blood pressure levels.

To lower the likelihood that people with white-coat hypertension will eventually acquire cardiovascular illnesses, it is necessary to identify and carefully follow these patients. Researchers that investigate white-coat hypertension frequently run into problems with reproducibility. In reality, prior research has demonstrated that hypertension phenotypes are fairly reproducible, particularly when they take very often and in people who are not receiving antihypertensive medication.

In addition to fluctuating penotypes in this patient population, the reproducibility of the ‘white-coat effect’ has also been challenging. Nevertheless, some studies have investigated the reproducibility of the white-coat effect over a one-year period in untreated individuals, mainly when these patients measure their blood pressure levels at home under less stressful conditions.

In the current study published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers analyze the long-term reproducibility of the white-coat effect as a continuous variable in untreated individualsThe current study utilized data obtained from a long-term study conducted in Ohsama, Japan, beginning in 1986. Moreover, data for the current study were collected between 2005 and 2019 using two types of devices for home and office blood pressure measurements.

Over the four-year period, study participants were visited once at baseline and four years later for a follow-up examination. Study participants were instructed to obtain their blood pressure measurements within one hour of waking and every evening before going to bed for a total of four weeks. Comparatively, office blood pressure levels were measured twice by medical staff after patients were allowed to rest for at least two minutes in a sitting position.

The white-coat effect was defined as the difference between office and home blood pressure measurements. Notably, home hypertension was defined as systolic and diastolic blood pressure exceeding 135 and 85 mmHg, respectively, whereas office hypertension was defined as over 140 and 90 mmHg, respectively.