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May 20, 1988

White Coat Hypertension

Author Affiliations

USA New York

USA New York

JAMA. 1988;259(19):2847. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720190019011

To the Editor.  —Often, when I take the blood pressure reading of a male patient, the reading is higher early in the appointment and returns to normal later during the same office visit.The women patients in the study by Pickering et al1 may well be relating to "the stereotype of the physician as a male authority figure," but one might find that men also relate to the female physician as an authority figure by displaying a similar blood pressure elevation.Unless the study is repeated using technicians and physicians of both sexes, the only valid conclusions can be that, while "white coat" hypertension is more pronounced when the blood pressure is measured by a physician than by a technician and while women may have higher blood pressure readings when taken by a male physician than by a female technician, the phenomenon may not be more common in women