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White coat hypertension and other stories . . .

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h5243 (Published 07 October 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5243

Blood pressure that is raised in a medical setting but normal at home is still known as “white coat hypertension,” despite the general phasing out of white clothing. Its opposite, in which home readings are higher, is called “masked hypertension.” The extensive literature on these anomalies has recently been reviewed (American Journal of Hypertension (2015, doi:10.1093/ajh/hpv157). Oddly, male sex was associated with masked hypertension (odds ratio 1.47, 95% CI 1.18 to 1.75), whereas white coat hypertension (3.38, 1.64 to 6.96) was strongly associated with female sex.

To investigate the pattern of cognitive decline in Parkinson’s disease, investigators at the University of Pennsylvania set up a cohort of 141 patients of average age 69 years who had been diagnosed an average of five years previously (Neurology 2015, doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000002001). At the start, 8.5% had mild cognitive impairment, and of these all had progressed to dementia by year 5. In the total cohort, …

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