- Orthostatic hypotension has been linked to heart disease, fainting, falls
- Low blood pressure may increase risk of dementia, stroke
- Maintaining normal blood pressure is crucial for good health
Do you often dizzy or lightheaded or feel that you will faint after standing up? This may be caused by a sudden drop in your blood pressure. In case this is a common occurrence, you may be at greater risk of developing dementia symptoms or stroke decades later, a study has found. A study - published in American Academy of Neurology - was conducted on 11,709 people with an average age of 54. All these people were followed for an average of 25 years.
Orthostatic hypotension has been linked to heart diseases, fainting and falls. This was the reason why researchers wanted to conduct a study on how low blood pressure was linked to problems with the brain, especially dementia - reports PTI.
As part of the study, low blood pressure on standing was seen to drop at least 20 millimetres of mercury (mmHg) in systolic blood pressure. This is the pressure in blood vessels when the heart beats. Or, low blood pressure on standing was 10 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure. This is rate when the heart is at rest. Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg.
Participants of the study were screened for orthostatic hypotension during the initial exam for the study. They were asked to lie down for at least 20 minutes and then stand up in a smooth and swift motion. The blood pressure was taken around 5 times after standing. Average of the 5 readings were taken into account and compared with the average blood pressure of the participants on resting.
Also read: Know The Early Signs Of Dementia
Around 4.7% of the participants were diagnosed with orthostatic hypotension at the beginning of the study. Around 1,068 people developed dementia symptoms and 843 people got ischemic stroke. Ischemic stroke is one where blood flow is blocked to the part of the brain. The ones with orthostatic hypotension had 54% higher risk of developing dementia as compared to those who didn't.
However, no association was found with bleeding stokes.
The study implies that measuring orthostatic hypotension in middle-age may be the new way for identifying people who need to be carefully monitored for dementia or stroke.
But more studies are required to clarify what may be causing these links. There is also the need to seek prevention strategies for the same.