HealthDay News — Delayed recovery orthostatic hypotension (OH) and sustained OH are associated with increased risk of falls among community-dwelling older adults, according to a study published in the March issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Ciarán Finucane, PhD, from Trinity College in Dublin, and colleagues examined the extent to which OH is a risk factor for incident falls, unexplained falls (UF), injurious falls (IF), and syncope using dynamic blood pressure (BP) measurements in a nationally representative longitudinal cohort study. Data were included for 4,127 participants randomly sampled from the population of older adults (age ≥50 years) in Ireland. 

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The researchers observed an increased relative risk of UF with impaired orthostatic BP stabilization at 40 seconds after standing (OH[40]) (relative risk, 1.52). OH correlated with all falls, UF, and IF (relative risks, 1.40, 1.81, and 1.58, respectively). There was no association for initial OH with any outcome.

“With the exception of initial orthostatic hypotension, beat-to-beat measures of impaired orthostatic BP recovery (delayed recovery OH[40] or sustained orthostatic hypotension OH) are independent risk factors for future falls, unexplained falls, and injurious falls,” the authors write.

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