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December 1989

Effects of Meals and Time of Day on Postural Blood Pressure Responses in Young and Elderly Subjects

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(12):2757-2760. doi:10.1001/archinte.1989.00390120097019

• Previous data suggest that postural and postprandial hypotension are common in elderly subjects. This study evaluated the effect of age, meals, and time of day on supine and standing blood pressure (BP) and heart rate in healthy young and elderly subjects. A postural BP protocol was performed on 10 young and 16 elderly subjects during an overnight stay. The protocol included first morning and postprandial readings. The systolic and diastolic BP responses to standing were not significantly different between the two groups and were not affected by time of day. Postprandial recumbent BPs declined significantly only in the older subjects. There was no effect of meals on the BP response to standing. We conclude that healthy elderly subjects have a postprandial decline in BP even when supine. However, the BP response to standing is similar in young and elderly subjects and is not impaired by overnight rest or meals. This suggests that the regulation of BP after meals and with standing may be different.

(Arch Intern Med. 1989;149:2757-2760)

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