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geriatric medicine

Orthostatic Hypotension Screening in Older Adults Taking Antihypertensive Agents

Orthostatic Hypotension Screening in Older Adults Taking Antihypertensive Agents

Teaser: 

Kenneth M. Madden, MSc, MD, FRCP, VITALITY (Vancouver Initiative to Add Life To Years) Group, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.

Orthostatic hypotension (OH), while not itself a disease, is an important physical finding in the setting of unexplained syncope or falls. All antihypertensive medications directly interfere with the normal cardiovascular responses (increased venous return, tachycardia, and vasoconstriction) to orthostatic stress. Regular screening for this condition in older adults with hypertension, as well as careful titration of antihypertensive medications, can greatly improve both mortality and quality of life in this vulnerable population.
Keywords: orthostatic hypotension, postural vitals, antihypertensives, syncope, geriatric medicine.