BACKGROUND: Orthostatic hypotension (OH) is a common finding among older patients. The impact of OH on mortality is unknown. OBJECTIVE: To study the long-term effect of OH on total and cardiovascular mortality. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 471 inpatients (227 males and 244 females), with a mean age of 81.5 years who were hospitalized in an acute geriatric ward between the years 1999 and 2000 were included in the study. Orthostatic tests were performed 3 times during the day on all patients near the time of discharge. Orthostatic hypotension was defined as a fall of at least 20 mmHg in systolic blood pressure (BP) and/or 10 mmHg in diastolic BP upon assuming an upright posture at least twice during the day. Patients were followed until August 31, 2004. Mortality data were taken from death certificates. RESULTS: One hundred and sixty-one patients (34.2%) experienced OH at least twice. Orthostatic hypotension had no effect on all cause and cause specific mortality. Over a follow-up of 3.47±1.87 years 249 patients (52.8%) had died 83 of whom (33.3%) had OH. Age-adjusted mortality rates in those with and without OH were 13.4 and 15.7 per 100 person-years, respectively. Cox proportional hazards model analysis demonstrated that male gender, age, diabetes mellitus, and congestive heart failure increased and high body mass index decreased total mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Orthostatic hypotension is relatively common in elderly patients discharged from acute geriatric wards, but has no impact on vascular and nonvascular mortality.
- Orthostatic hypotension