0
Summaries for Patients |

Blood Pressure in Older Adults after Meals and Standing Up FREE

[+] Article and Author Information

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 2000;133(7):I-48. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-133-7-200010030-00006
Text Size: A A A

What is the problem and what is known about it so far?

Fainting (syncope) and falls are common in older persons and can result in significant health problems, disability, and even death. With aging, the heart and circulation begin to respond in ways that predispose older persons to fainting and falls, including decreases in blood pressure on standing up (orthostatic hypotension) and after eating (postprandial hypotension). While these changes are thought to be potential factors in syncope and falls in the elderly, few detailed studies of this problem have been done.

Why did the researchers do this particular study?

To determine whether eating worsens the decrease in blood pressure that occurs when older persons stand up.

Who was studied?

The study included 50 independent older persons: 47 persons from senior centers and 3 persons who were admitted to the hospital because of an unexplained fall or syncope. The average age of study participants was 78 years; the youngest was 61 years old, and the oldest was 96 years old.

How was the study done?

The researchers performed tests using a tilt table before and 30 minutes after participants ate a standardized high-carbohydrate meal. The tilt table tilts a person from lying flat to a standing position, making it easy to measure blood pressure and heart rate while the person is in various positions.

What did the researchers find?

Upright position and eating a meal were associated with a fall in blood pressure. The fall in blood pressure seen when these two factors were combined was greater than the fall seen with either one alone. The percentage of patients with low blood pressure and associated symptoms (for example, lightheadedness) was 11% before meals and 22% after meals.

What were the limitations of the study?

The study was done under laboratory conditions rather than in real-life situations. It is not known how many of the study participants whose blood pressure decreased during the test, with or without symptoms, would actually have fainted or had a fall in real life.

What are the implications of the study?

When doctors evaluate an older person who has lightheadedness, syncope, or falls, it may be helpful for them to ask specifically about the relationship of these symptoms to both standing up and meals.

Summaries for Patients are a service provided by Annals to help patients better understand the complicated and often mystifying language of modern medicine.

Summaries for Patients are presented for informational purposes only. These summaries are not a substitute for advice from your own medical provider. If you have questions about this material, or need medical advice about your own health or situation, please contact your physician.

The summary below is from the full report titled “Upright Posture and Postprandial Hypotension in Elderly Persons.” It is in the 3 October 2000 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 133, pages 533-536). The authors are MS Maurer, W Karmally, H Rivadeneira, MK Parides, and DM Bloomfield.

Summaries for Patients are a service provided by Annals to help patients better understand the complicated and often mystifying language of modern medicine.

Summaries for Patients are presented for informational purposes only. These summaries are not a substitute for advice from your own medical provider. If you have questions about this material, or need medical advice about your own health or situation, please contact your physician.

The summary below is from the full report titled “Upright Posture and Postprandial Hypotension in Elderly Persons.” It is in the 3 October 2000 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 133, pages 533-536). The authors are MS Maurer, W Karmally, H Rivadeneira, MK Parides, and DM Bloomfield.

Figures

Tables

References

Letters

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Comments

Submit a Comment
Submit a Comment

Summary for Patients

Clinical Slide Sets

Terms of Use

The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.

Toolkit

Want to Subscribe?

Learn more about subscription options

Advertisement
Related Articles
Topic Collections
PubMed Articles
Forgot your password?
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.
(Required)
(Required)