Orthostatic hypotension

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Clinics in Geriatric Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.83). 06/2002; 18(2):253-68. DOI: 10.1016/S0749-0690(02)00008-3
Source: PubMed


A common problem among elderly people, orthostatic hypotension is associated with significant morbidity and mortality, which may be caused by medications, the cumulative effects of age- and hypertension-related alterations in blood pressure regulation, or age-associated diseases that impair autonomic function. Evaluation requires multiple blood pressure measurements taken at different times of the day and after meals or medications. Central and peripheral nervous system disorders should be sought, and the laboratory evaluation should concentrate on ruling out diabetes mellitus, amyloidosis, occult malignancy, and vitamin deficiencies. If orthostatic hypotension is detected, it should be considered a risk factor for adverse outcomes and treated first with nonpharmacologic interventions, including the withdrawal of potentially hypotensive medications. In patients with hypertension and orthostatic hypotension, the judicious treatment of hypertension may be helpful. For persistent, symptomatic orthostatic hypotension caused by autonomic failure, pharmacologic interventions include fludrocortisone, midodrine, and a variety of other agents. The careful evaluation and management of orthostatic hypotension will hopefully result in a significant reduction in falls, syncope, and fractures, and an attenuation of functional decline in elderly patients.

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    • "Hypotension, including orthostatic hypotension, is associated with significant morbidity and mortality (Mukai and Lipsitz 2002). Furthermore, it has been identified as serious risk factor for stroke and coronary artery disease in the elderly (Eigenbrodt et al. 2000; Jones et al. 2012; Masaki et al. 1998; Rose et al. 2006). "
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    Phytomedicine 09/2014; 21(11):1349–1355. DOI:10.1016/j.phymed.2014.06.014 · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    • "Subjects were asked to inspire a gas mixture of 8% CO2, 21% O2, and balance nitrogen for 2 minutes and then mildly hyperventilate to an end-tidal CO2 of approximately 25 mmHg for 2 minutes. Postural blood pressure (BP) measurements were obtained according to a standardized measurement technique [80]. In a substudy of subjects with slow gait speed and controls, cerebral blood flow changes in response to cognitive activation were measured during a separate visit, as reported elsewhere [81]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Falls are the sixth leading cause of death in elderly people in the U.S. Despite progress in understanding risk factors for falls, many suspected risk factors have not been adequately studied. Putative risk factors for falls such as pain, reductions in cerebral blood flow, somatosensory deficits, and foot disorders are poorly understood, in part because they pose measurement challenges, particularly for large observational studies. The MOBILIZE Boston Study (MBS), an NIA-funded Program Project, is a prospective cohort study of a unique set of risk factors for falls in seniors in the Boston area. Using a door-to-door population-based recruitment, we have enrolled 765 persons aged 70 and older. The baseline assessment was conducted in 2 segments: a 3-hour home interview followed within 4 weeks by a 3-hour clinic examination. Measures included pain, cerebral hemodynamics, and foot disorders as well as established fall risk factors. For the falls follow-up, participants return fall calendar postcards to the research center at the end of each month. Reports of falls are followed-up with a telephone interview to assess circumstances and consequences of each fall. A second assessment is performed 18 months following baseline. Of the 2382 who met all eligibility criteria at the door, 1616 (67.8%) agreed to participate and were referred to the research center for further screening. The primary reason for ineligibility was inability to communicate in English. Results from the first 600 participants showed that participants are largely representative of seniors in the Boston area in terms of age, sex, race and Hispanic ethnicity. The average age of study participants was 77.9 years (s.d. 5.5) and nearly two-thirds were women. The study cohort was 78% white and 17% black. Many participants (39%) reported having fallen at least once in the year before baseline. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of conducting comprehensive assessments, including rigorous physiologic measurements, in a diverse population of older adults to study non-traditional risk factors for falls and disability. The MBS will provide an important new data resource for examining novel risk factors for falls and mobility problems in the older population.
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    ABSTRACT: With age our ability to maintain haemodynamic homeostasis during position changes becomes less effective. This predisposes elderly patients to significant changes in blood pressure upon standing and orthostatic hypotension (OH). The prevalence of OH varies according to the population being studied. A range of between 5% and 60% has been reported with the lower rate in elderly individuals living in the community and higher rates in those living in an institution or in the acute-care setting. Multiple factors have been linked to OH including age, bed rest, low body mass index and medications. Although antihypertensive medications can theoretically, as a group, worsen OH, the majority of cross-sectional studies have found no association. In addition, prospective randomised trials have demonstrated an improvement in postural blood pressure (PBP) changes with antihypertensive medications. When considering the individual classes, peripheral vasodilators, specifically α-adrenoceptor antagonists and nondihydropyridine calcium channel antagonists, can exacerbate PBP changes and lead to OH. ACE inhibitors, angiotensin-receptor antagonists and β-adrenoceptor antagonists with intrinsic sympathomimetic activity are less likely to worsen OH. Careful management of electrolyte disturbance can decrease the risk of developing OH with diuretic use. With the aging population, this problem will be encountered by the clinicians at a much higher rate. A detailed patient history, an accurate orthostatic blood pressure measurement and careful evaluation of the autonomic nervous system can provide clinical guidance for management of OH. In hypertensive individuals with no pre-treatment OH, the use of antihypertensive medication can be safe and lead to a low risk of developing OH. In individuals with pre-treatment OH or who develop OH while on antihypertensive medications avoidance of the classes that may exacerbate OH and a judicious use of antihypertensive classes that may improve PBP changes may be safe and adequate treatment.
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