15 Myths and Surprising Facts About Heart Health

Top heart docs at the Cleveland Clinic deliver the latest news on heart health (17 Photos)

The Cleveland Clinic on Feb 15, 2012 at 2:01PM

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15 Myths and Surprising Facts About Heart Health

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The Claim: Going to the Doc Can Raise Your Blood Pressure

The Truth: For many of us, a visit to the doctor causes emotional stress, and your body releases adrenaline and other hormones into your bloodstream, increasing blood pressure. We call this doctor-induced increase in blood pressure “white coat hypertension.”

If your doctor determines that you have high blood pressure, make sure that this is not simply white coat hypertension. Buy your own blood pressure monitor and check your pressure at home under less stressful conditions. If your resting blood pressure at home is normal (120/80 or less), you have white coat hypertension. If you have white coat hypertension, however, stay on top of your blood pressure (frequent blood pressure checks, exercise, good diet) to limit your chance of developing real hypertension in the future.

Learn more about preventing and managing heart disease from Heart 411: The Only Guide to Heart Health You’ll Ever Need by Marc Gillinov, MD and Steven Nissen, MD (Three Rivers Press, 2012)

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