OBJECTIVES: To determine the prognostic role of orthostatic hypotension for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality in elderly people.
DESIGN: Prospective study.
SETTING: Community based.
PARTICIPANTS: Five thousand sixty-four subjects from the Rotterdam study aged 55 and older.
MEASUREMENTS: Orthostatic hypotension was measured using a Dinamap automatic blood pressure recorder. Orthostatic hypotension is defined as a decline in systolic blood pressure of 20 mmHg or more or a decline in diastolic blood pressure of 10 mmHg or more from supine to standing position at any of three measurements taken 1, 2, and 3 minutes after standing.
RESULTS: At baseline, 901 subjects had orthostatic hypotension. During follow-up, 668 subjects had coronary heart disease (CHD) (mean follow-up 6.0 ± 3.5 years), and 1,835 subjects died (mean follow-up period 7.8 ± 3.8 years). Orthostatic hypotension increased the risk of CHD (hazard ratio (HR)=1.31, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.08–1.57) and all-cause mortality (HR=1.22, 95% CI=1.09–1.36), in models adjusted for age and sex. The risk was slightly lower after additional adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors. In analyses stratified for age, the HRs for all-cause mortality were 1.80 (95% CI 1.25–2.60), 1.13 (0.89–1.42), and 1.27 (95% CI=1.11–1.44), in the first, second, and third tertile of age, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Orthostatic hypotension increases the risk of CHD and all-cause mortality in elderly people. The risk of CVD and mortality is strongest in younger and very old subjects.