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June 5, 1937

ORTHOSTATIC HYPOTENSION

JAMA. 1937;108(23):1988-1989. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780230048023

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  There is an importance in the article on "Orthostatic Hypotension: The Treatment of Two Cases with Benzedrine Sulfate," by Perk Lee Davis and Margaret Shumway-Davis, in The Journal, April 10, page 1247, which should be recognized and applauded. This importance lies in the fact that the authors have used a comparatively unknown function of the circulation to determine the effect of a drug. This function of the circulation is its "gravity resisting ability." The symptom that reveals its weakness is "postural" or "orthostatic hypotension." This is measured by comparing the blood pressure lying down with the blood pressure while standing. Postural or orthostatic hypotension (first called blood ptosis) is measured by the amount of fall of blood pressure on standing. The systolic pressure moves more than the diastolic. Differences may amount to as much as from 80 to 100 mm. on standing, and in postural hypotension there

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