Study debunks blood pressure testing theory

New research debunks the widely held belief that clinic readings tend to overestimate a person’s normal blood pressure.

In fact, the study suggests that about one in six people with normal clinic blood pressure has masked hypertension that can only be picked up through 24-hour monitoring.

The researchers describe this as the reverse of white coat hypertension.

Their study of almost 900 healthy middle-aged people found that 15.7% of participants with normal clinic blood pressure were actually hypertensive based on ambulatory monitoring, regardless of sex, race, or ethnicity.

And younger, normal-weight people were more likely than their older, overweight peers to have ambulatory blood pressure readings higher than their clinic readings.

Writing in the journal Circulation, lead author Dr Joseph Schwartz from New York’s Stony Brook University says it’s important for