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Orthostatic hypotension, balance and falls in Parkinson's disease


  • Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.


Orthostatic hypotension (OH) is a common feature in Parkinson's disease (PD). As the control of balance and gait is already affected by PD per se, OH may further predispose patients to falls and accidents. The study was conducted to evaluate the clinical correlates of OH and its association with mobility and balance in PD. From a total population of 205,000 inhabitants, 120 PD patients were included in the study. Medical data including history of recent falls were collected, and patients were clinically examined using the orthostatic test, the Timed Up & Go test, walking speed, and the quantitative measurement of postural sway. Sixty-three (52.5%) patients had OH in the orthostatic test. Twenty-five (39.5%) patients with and 16 (28.1%) patients without OH (P = 0.614) had fallen during the past 3 months. Patients with OH had significantly increased postural sway in standing compared with patients without OH. However, OH was not associated with mobility or walking speed. The current results support the concept that the control of body balance and OH may be closely linked. © 2009 Movement Disorder Society