Hong Kong Med J 1997;3:8-14 | Number 1, March 1997
A study of postural hypotension in a Chinese elderly outpatient population: are there really associated risk factors?
DKY Miu, MH Chan
Geriatric Unit, Department of Medicine and Geriatric. Kwong Wah Hospital, Waterloo Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Postural hypotension is reported to be a common finding in elderly patients with prevalence rates from 10% to 30% having been reported. Proposed risk factors for the development of postural hypotension in the elderly include a number of medical conditions and medications. However, little is known about Chinses populations. From July 1995 through November 1995, we conducted a cross-sectional study on a group of 400 elderly patients (>65 years) in a geriatric outpatient department. Nearly 23% experienced a drop of 20 mmHg or more in systolic blood pressure on going from a supine to standing position. The fall did not correlate well with known risk factors such as use of anti-hypertensive drugs, hypnotics, diabetics mellitus, parkinsonism, and history of a fall. No significant factors were found to be associated with postural hypotension. Our data suggest that the change is idiopathic and does not result in any significant clinical outcome such as falls, syncope, and dizziness.
Key words: Hypotension, orthostatic; Risk factors; Supine position; Blood pressure
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