No evidence that panic attacks are associated with the white coat effect in hypertension
Davies SJC., Jackson PR., Ramsay LE., Ghahramani P., Palmer RL., Hippisley-Cox J.
The authors aimed to determine whether hypertensive patients with panic attacks or panic disorder have a larger white coat effect (difference between clinic blood pressure measured under standard conditions and mean daytime ambulatory blood pressure) than hypertensive patients without panic attacks. White coat effect was compared in a hospital hypertension clinic between 24 patients with panic attacks in the previous 6 months (12 with panic disorder) and 23 hypertensive controls. There were no significant differences between cases and controls in clinic blood pressure, mean daytime ambulatory blood pressure, or white coat effect (18/3 vs. 19/6 mm Hg; difference for systolic, -1.9 mm Hg; 95% confidence interval, -15.8 to +12.0; difference for diastolic, -3.0 mm Hg; 95% confidence interval, -10.2 to +4.3). Comparing only patients with panic disorder with controls, there were again no significant differences in clinic blood pressure, mean daytime ambulatory blood pressure, or white coat effect. This study provides no evidence for an exaggerated white coat effect in hypertensive patients who have experienced panic attacks or panic disorder. However, only larger studies could exclude differences in white coat effect <12/4 mm Hg, or an exaggerated white coat effect in a minority of patients with panic attacks. © 2003 Le Jacq Communications, Inc.