If your blood pressure drops suddenly when you go from lying down to standing, you may have a higher risk of heart failure, a new study found.
According to research, published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, people who experience the condition – known scientifically as orthostatic hypotension – are more than 1.5 times as likely to have heart failure than those without it.
The risk is even greater for people 45-55 years old, compared to those 56-64, researchers said.
To reach their conclusions, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill tracked people with the condition for an average of 17.5 years of follow-up. Their analysis of hospitalization and death certificate records determined:
• About 11 percent of patients who developed heart failure had the condition at the start of the study, compared with only 4 percent of those who did not develop heart failure.
• People with the condition had 1.54 times the risk of developing heart failure than those without it; however, after excluding those with high blood pressure, the risk fell to 1.34 times.
• The findings held true even when researchers took into account patients’ existing diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
"Orthostatic hypotension appears to be related to the development of heart failure along with other conditions known to cause heart failure," said lead researcher Dr. Christine DeLong Jones. "Hypertension, diabetes and coronary heart disease are already known to contribute to a person's risk of developing heart failure. Orthostatic blood pressure measurement may supplement what is already known about the risk for heart failure and requires no additional equipment, just a standard blood pressure cuff."
Heart failure strikes about 5.7 million Americans and causes more 281,000 deaths a year, costing the healthcare system about $34.4 billion annually, according to the American Heart Association.