The authors of a new study say tight blood pressure (BP) targets and intensive BP control could be to blame for soaring rates of hospital admission for orthostatic hypotension (OH).
The study, published in BMJ Open, examined data on hospital admissions defined as finished consultant episodes (FCEs) to NHS England hospitals between 2008 and 2017.
The data showed that FCEs for OH rose by 110 per cent from 14,658 in 2008 to 30,759 in 2017. The greatest increase was in the over 75 years age group where FCEs went from 10,639 to 22,756, a 114 per cent rise.
This increase is disproportionate to the rise in admissions overall for those aged over 75 years, which increased by 48 per cent. The rate is also out of proportion with admissions for other conditions such as epilepsy and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which increased by 7 per cent and 35 per cent, respectively. The number of falls-related FCEs in this age group rose from 61,841 to 89,622 (45%).
“Our results raise the question as to whether lower BP targets and more aggressive BP control are to blame for the significant increase in admissions for OH in older people, however further research is needed to prove this hypothesis,” the authors said.