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How big a problem is mis-diagnosis?
Around 25% of the general population is thought to suffer from white coat effect. No-one knows the percentage of people with hypertension who suffer from white coat effect. It's important to remember 16m adults in the UK have high blood pressure and 5m of them have no idea as high blood pressure has no symptoms. High blood pressure causes 60% of strokes, 40% of heart attacks and is also a risk factor for kidney disease and dementia.
What do I do if I think I've been mis-diagnosed?
Wait until your 6 month/ yearly blood pressure check-up with your GP and then discuss your concerns with your GP. Your GP may then provide a 24-hour monitor.
How quickly are the guidelines going to be implemented?
The guidelines start from today. However, it'll be over the coming months and the next year, that the changes should be more commonplace. In some areas GP consortia are already pooling their Ambulatory Monitor resources together in a bid to cover more patients.
How are the new guidelines different to what has happened in the past?
Traditionally hypertension has been diagnosed through blood pressure readings taken in a doctors surgery. Using ambulatory monitors will allow patients to have their blood pressure measured in their normal, everyday life, therefore giving a more accurate picture of their blood pressure health.
We'll be updating this section with the questions you ask us over the next few days. Look out for more information.