Orthostatic hypotension in acute geriatric ward: Is it a consistent finding?

Avraham Weiss, Grossman Ehud*, Yichayaou Beloosesky, Joseph Grinblat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Orthostatic hypotension (OH) is a common finding among older patients, We designed a study to examine the prevalence and consistency of OH during the day. Methods: A total of 502 inpatients (241 men and 261 women) with a mean age of 81.6 years were included in the study. Orthostatic tests were performed 3 times during the day, 30 minutes after meals. In 13 patients only 2 sets of measurements were obtained, and they were omitted from some of the calculations. Orthostatic hypotension was defined as a fall of at least 20 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure and/or 10 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure on assuming an upright posture. Results: Three hundred thirty-two (67.9%) of 489 patients experienced OH at least once during the day. Of these, 170 patients (34.8% of the 489) had OH at least twice (persistent OH) and 162 patients (33.1%) experi-enced OH only once (variable OH). Diastolic OH was more prevalent than systolic OH (57.3% vs 43.4%; P<.001). The intraindividual consistency of OH was low (κ=0.2). Orthostatic hypotension was observed less frequently during the evening than during the morning and afternoon (P<.05 vs morning and P=.003 vs afternoon). The difference between meals' constituents (light vs heavy meals) did not affect the prevalence of OH. Conclusions: Orthostatic hypotension is very common in the elderly, and diastolic OH is more common than systolic OH. The prevalence of OH is the lowest during the evening, and meals do not increase the prevalence of OH. The intraindividual consistency of OH during the day is poor. Thus, in elderly patients, more attention should be paid to diastolic OH and the diagnosis should be based on repeated measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2369-2374
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Internal Medicine
Issue number20
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2002


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