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February 1989

Postprandial Blood Pressure Decrease in Well Elderly Persons

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, The Medical College of Pennsylvania, and the Philadelphia Gerontology Research Consortium.

Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(2):286-288. doi:10.1001/archinte.1989.00390020036007

• To learn if postprandial reduction in blood pressure occurs in active, very well elderly persons, we identified 16 such subjects over the age of 75 years, free of cardiovascular disease, taking no drug affecting blood pressure control. Each underwent measurement of seated and standing blood pressure and heart rate before and after a standard breakfast and before and after a volume of water (control). Eight young persons underwent the measurements before and after the meal. The elderly but not the young showed a significant fall in systolic and diastolic pressures after the meal, with heart rate increases in some subjects clearly inadequate for the decline in systemic pressure. No symptoms were seen. But postprandial decrease in blood pressure may in some less robust elderly persons be a factor in syncope and falls. This change may also confuse the monitoring of antihypertensive treatment in older outpatients.

(Arch Intern Med 1989;149:286-288)

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