White-coat hypertension

Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2014 Jan;41(1):22-9. doi: 10.1111/1440-1681.12114.


1. Numerous studies have examined whether white-coat hypertension (WCHT) is associated with increased cardiovascular risk, but with definitions of WCHT that were not sufficiently robust, results have been inconsistent. The aim of the present review was to standardize the evidence by only including studies that used a definition of WCHT consistent with international guidelines. 2. Published studies were reviewed for data on vascular dysfunction, target organ damage, risk of future sustained hypertension and cardiovascular events. 3. White-coat hypertension has a population prevalence of approximately 15% and is associated with non-smoking and slightly elevated clinic blood pressure. Compared with normotensives, subjects with WCHT are at increased cardiovascular risk due to a higher prevalence of glucose dysregulation, increased left ventricular mass index and increased risk of future diabetes and hypertension. 4. In conclusion, management of a patient with WCHT should focus on cardiovascular risk factors, particularly glucose intolerance, not blood pressure alone.

Keywords: cardiovascular risk; glucose intolerance; isolated clinic hypertension; white-coat hypertension.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis*
  • Hypertension / pathology
  • Hypertension / therapy*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Prevalence
  • Risk
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiopathology
  • White Coat Hypertension / diagnosis*
  • White Coat Hypertension / epidemiology
  • White Coat Hypertension / physiopathology
  • White Coat Hypertension / therapy*


  • Biomarkers