Navigation Links
Lightheadedness Upon Standing Could Signal Heart Risk

By Denise Mann
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- If your blood pressure drops suddenly when you stand up, leaving you feeling lightheaded or woozy, you may be at greater risk for developing heart failure, a new study suggests.

This condition is known as orthostatic hypotension. According to the study, people with orthostatic hypotension were 54 percent more likely to develop heart failure than their counterparts who did not develop low blood pressure upon standing. This risk was reduced to 34 percent when the researchers teased out those who also had high blood pressure.

"Multiple risk factors can increase a person's risk for developing heart failure, including high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and diabetes," explained study author Dr. Christine DeLong Jones, a preventive medicine resident at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Orthostatic hypotension may also increase this risk."

Heart failure occurs when the heart can no longer pump strongly enough for blood to the reach the rest of the body. About 5.7 million people in the United States have heart failure, and about 300,000 people die from it each year, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Exactly how orthostatic hypotension could lead to heart failure is not fully understood. "We speculate that orthostatic hypotension and high blood pressure may contribute to the risk of heart failure through a similar pathway, such as through high blood pressure that happens primarily when a person is laying down," she added.

For the new study, researchers looked at more than 12,000 people between the ages of 45 and 64 from four U.S. counties. Close to 11 percent of people who developed heart failure during about 17.5 years of follow-up had orthostatic hypotension at the start of the study, compared with only 4 percent of those who did not go on to develop heart failure. This link was most pronounced among people aged 45 to 55, according to the findings, published March 19 in Hypertension.

To test for orthostatic hypotension, your doctor will measure your blood pressure while lying down and shortly after standing up. Orthostatic hypotension is defined as a drop of 20 mm Hg or more in systolic (the top number) blood pressure or a decrease of 10 mm Hg or more in diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure upon standing.

Some people with orthostatic hypotension might not have symptoms and may not require treatment. Others may experience dizziness, and others may even pass out, Jones said. "If one passes out or has severe dizziness, they should see a provider urgently."

People with orthostatic hypotension who also have high blood pressure should take steps to control blood pressure, and make sure their heart is healthy, she said.

The study authors speculated that orthostatic hypotension might be an indicator of early atherosclerosis -- a buildup of plaque in the arteries -- brought on by high blood pressure.

However, the study does not show that orthostatic hypotension causes heart failure, merely an association between the two.

Dr. Robert Myerburg, a professor of cardiology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said it is way too premature to say that orthostatic hypotension is a risk factor for heart failure based on this study.

"Orthostatic hypotension can cause unpleasant symptoms and if they lead to loss of consciousness or near loss of consciousness, it can lead to accidents, but this is not something that will lead to cardiac arrest," he said. His advice is to drink plenty of fluid if you have low blood pressure upon standing. "If it doesn't bother you or cause any significant symptoms, you don't have to treat it," he said.

Dr. Stephen Green, chief of cardiology at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., agreed. "If you get lightheaded, see your doctor and they should see if you have orthostatic blood pressure, which is a common source of lightheadedness or dizziness when you change positions," he said.

"It doesn't mean you will die of heart failure if you have it, but over time, we can keep an eye on any signs or symptoms for heart failure," Green added.

Dr. Tara Narula, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said that anything that helps diagnose heart failure earlier could be beneficial. "This is an interesting paper, and if orthostatic hypotension proves to be a cause or leads to heart failure in future studies, we could possible identify heart failure earlier than we can now."

More information

Learn more about heart failure and how to treat it at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

SOURCES: Robert Myerburg, M.D., professor, cardiology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Christine DeLong Jones, M.D., M.S., preventive medicine resident, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Stephen Green, M.D., chief, cardiology, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, N.Y.; Tara Narula, M.D., cardiologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; March 19, 2012, Hypertension

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New understanding of DNA repair could eventually lead to cancer therapy
2. Leibniz Prize 2012 to honor 11 outstanding researchers
3. University of Leicester study fundamentally alters our understanding of lung growth
4. Better understanding of neurologic defects improves post-cardiac-arrest discharge
5. Understanding people, spaces and spatial cognition
6. Breakthrough in understanding the genetics of high blood pressure
7. When do consumers try to increase social standing by eating too much?
8. Woman with a higher social standing and educational attainment breastfeed for longer
9. Childrens National researchers make breakthrough in understanding white matter development
10. President Barack Obama recognizes outstanding scientists at the Smithsonian
11. New modeling of brains circuitry may bring better understanding of Parkinsons disease
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Lightheadedness Upon Standing Could Signal Heart Risk
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Speech and physical therapies are traditionally conducted ... and under the right circumstances, these practices can be merged. This combination ... his or her therapeutic sessions, as well as gives the physical and speech ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Wayland, MA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... adults has a tattoo — a number even greater among Millennials (a whopping one ... there are more and more people who are dissatisfied with their ink. In fact, ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Libertyville, IL (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 ... ... catheters, keeping their independence is everything. That is why Hollister Incorporated has launched ... excited to offer this next product in the VaPro touch free catheter portfolio,” ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Lutronic, a leading innovator of ... latest addition to the devices for sale in the United States. Clarity is ... long-pulsed 1064 nm Nd:YAG lasers, into a single platform that is easy to own ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , ... December 01, 2015 , ... With FCPX ... and with full control over customization, the possibilities are truly endless, all with a ... randomization, overlay depth position, vertical flip, horizontal flip, depth of field and more, all ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... Relmada Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: RLMD), a clinical-stage company developing novel ... the company will present at the LD Micro Main Event. ... Sunset Boulevard Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. ... present on Thursday, December 3, at 9:00 am Pacific time ... at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Dec. 1, 2015   MabVax Therapeutics Holdings, Inc ... announces it has filed an Investigational New Drug Application ... for the Company,s lead fully human antibody product HuMab ... MabVax plans to initiate the Phase I clinical trial ... --> The planned Phase I trial will ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015   Craneware, Inc ., the healthcare ... announced the company will showcase a new version ... solution at the American Society for Health-System ... The new features are focused on simplifying and ... managing enterprise-wide pharmacy charges to ensure compliance and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: