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JOURNAL: Am J Hypertens 2003; 16:494-497.
AUTHORS: Drs. Martin G. Myers and Miguel A. Valdivieso
ABSTRACT: Study results indicate that a lot of the white coat effect can be reduced by determining blood pressure (BP) outside the office setting, either by a trained technician or by using an automated recording device.
COMMENTARY: They found that BP readings obtained with the BpTRU tended to be lower than the readings obtained by the physician and hypertension specialist (P<0.001). The mean readings were 155, 166, and 174 mm Hg, respectively.
Measures taken by the technician (mean 158 mm Hg) was similar to that obtained with the automated device, the authors write.
The highest mean BP readings occurred during the first recording session, a finding that supports prior studies which have shown that BP readings tend to be higher during a visit to a new setting and then fall during subsequent visits.
This study, the researchers say, suggests that the white coat effect associated with BP readings taken by the physician can be partly eliminated by referring patients to non-office settings for automated BP recordings and/or having a technician or nurse take the reading.