MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Stephen P. Juraschek, MD, PhD
Instructor of Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Harvard Medical School
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Many adults experience dizziness and light-headedness when they stand up. This is more common in older adults and is related to risk of falling, fractures, fainting, car crashes, and early death. These symptoms are thought to be caused by a drop in blood pressure after standing also called orthostatic hypotension. However, if measured at the wrong time it is possible to miss this important clinical sign.
For over 2 decades (since 1996), it has been recommended that orthostatic hypotension be identified by measuring blood pressure within 3 minutes of standing. Furthermore, it was also thought that measurements immediately after standing be avoided because they might be inaccurate (based on fluctuation in blood pressure immediately after standing). As a result, a lot of clinical protocols instructing healthcare staff on measuring orthostatic blood pressure encourage measurement at 3 minutes, but this has not been scientifically evaluated.