People in whom sudden rising from a supine position causes blood pressure to fall are more likely to have heart failure say researchers.
Orthostatic hypotension or postural hypotension is the medical term for the condition in which blood pressure falls suddenly when a person who is lying down suddenly stands up. This is a result of the instant draining away of blood to the lower part of the body, especially the legs. It can cause a momentary feeling of dizziness that passes away within a few seconds.
While it can happen to anyone, the elderly and people with low blood pressure are more likely to suffer from this condition. Researchers of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studied the causes of death of patients diagnosed with orthostatic hypotension over a period of 17.5 years. What they found was that 11 percent of the people with this condition developed cardiac failure and a mere 4 percent did not.
The research team also found that many of the subjects also suffered from high blood pressure, leading them to conclude that this could also be a factor in causing heart failure. Lead researcher Christine DeLong Jones said:
“Hypertension, diabetes and coronary heart disease are already known to contribute to a person's risk of developing heart failure. Orthostatic hypotension appears to be related to the development of heart failure along with other conditions known to cause heart failure.”
The study also found that people in the age group of 45 to 55 years were at greater risk of heart failure due to postural hypotension as compared to those in the age group of 56 to 64 years. This study was published in the journal Hypertension.