White coat effect: blood pressure values ​​at the doctor are often higher

White coat effect: blood pressure values ​​at the doctor are often higher

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Hypertension: Do not trust doctor measurements alone

In stressful, tense or unfamiliar situations, blood pressure rises in many people. When visiting a doctor's office, many people are not relaxed - a bad prerequisite for a blood pressure measurement. This means that measurement results are often too high.

When you are tense, your blood pressure rises. This is quite normal, but bad when measuring blood pressure at a doctor. Because the result is wrong - and therefore often the dose of the medication.

Check blood pressure at home

Hypertension patients should measure their blood pressure regularly - specifically at home. Because the values ​​determined there are often more precise and therefore better than measurement results from the doctor's office, explains the German Heart Foundation.

Too strong blood pressure lowering due to incorrect measured values

According to the doctor, the values ​​are often a little too high. There are several reasons for this. One is the so-called white coat effect: some patients are so tense just by the presence of a doctor that their blood pressure rises. As a result of the too high values, hypotensive blood pressure is often prescribed, which in turn can have dangerous side effects such as dizziness and fainting attacks.

Relax for five minutes before the measurement

So that the values ​​in the blood pressure measurement at home are not too high, patients should pay attention to a few things. It is important, for example, to only start measuring after sitting relaxed for five minutes. The legs should not be crossed. A morning blood pressure measurement should also be done before breakfast - before the first coffee or tea.

Always measure twice

The Heart Foundation also recommends that you measure your blood pressure twice, with a 30 to 60 second pause between the two measurements. The lower value is decisive. As a rule, because of the easing of tension, this is the second. (vb; source: dpa / tmn)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek


  • Deutsche Herzstiftung: High blood pressure: Often only errors in measurement are to blame (accessed: January 30, 2020),

Video: Top 4 Ways To End The Anxiety Over Doctor Visits (August 2022).