High prevalence of postprandial and orthostatic hypotension among geriatric patients admitted to Dutch hospitals.
SourceJournals of Gerontology Series A-Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 60, 10, (2005), pp. 1271-1277
Article / Letter to editor
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Journals of Gerontology Series A-Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
SubjectEBP 2: Effective Hospital Care; UMCN 2.2: Vascular medicine and diabetes
BACKGROUND: Previous studies have indicated that postprandial hypotension (PPH) and orthostatic hypotension (OH) occur infrequently together. As data on geriatric patients in hospitals are scarce, we investigated the prevalence of PPH and OH and their combined occurrence. Our study sample included patients admitted to two geriatric departments in Dutch hospitals. METHODS: During 9 months, hemodynamic changes were measured with Spacelab 90207 after standing and after meals in all eligible patients. PPH is defined as a meal-related decline in systolic blood pressure (SBP) > or =20 mmHg, OH after standing up. RESULTS: Eighty-five patients (44 men), mean age 80 +/- 7 years (range 60-98 years), with 4 +/- 2 diseases and 6 +/- 3 prescriptions, were included. PPH was present in 57 patients (67%) with a significant postmeal SBP decrease of 34 +/- 4 mmHg. OH was present in 44 patients (52%) with a mean SBP decline of 44 +/- 4 mmHg after standing. Thirty-two patients (37%) had OH and PPH. Only 16 patients (19%) had neither OH nor PPH. Symptoms of PPH were present in 65% of patients, with syncope (in five patients) and sleepiness as the most common symptoms. OH was symptomatic in 61% of patients, with dizziness and risk for falls as the most common symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: PPH and OH are more common in geriatric patients than was previously appreciated, with a high statistical probability that OH and PPH occur simultaneously. There is little overlap in symptoms of OH (dizziness, fall risk) versus PPH (sleepiness, syncope), which can play an important role in diagnosis. Because of the high prevalence of symptomatic PPH and OH, blood pressure measurements for diagnosing hypotensive syndromes should be part of a comprehensive geriatric assessment.
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