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Combination non-pharmacologic intervention for orthostatic hypotension in older people: a phase 2 study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr James FrithORCiD, Emerita Professor Julia Newton



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Geriatrics Society. BACKGROUND: orthostatic hypotension (OH) is highly prevalent in older populations and is associated with reduced quality of life and increased mortality. Although non-pharmacologic therapies are recommended first-line, evidence for their use is lacking. OBJECTIVE: determine the efficacy of combination non-pharmacologic therapy for OH in older people. METHODS: a total of 111 orthostatic BP responses were evaluated in this prospective phase 2 efficacy study in 37 older people (≥60 years) with OH. Primary outcome was the proportion of participants whose systolic BP drop improved by ≥10 mmHg. Secondary outcomes include standing BP and symptoms. Comparison is made to the response rate of the most efficacious single therapy (bolus water drinking 56%). Therapeutic combinations were composed of interventions with known efficacy and tolerability: Therapy A- Bolus water drinking + physical counter-manoeuvres (PCM); Therapy B- Bolus water drinking + PCM + abdominal compression. RESULTS: the response rate to therapy A was 38% (95% confidence interval - CI 24, 63), with standing systolic BP increasing by 13 mmHg (95% CI 4, 22). Therapy B was efficacious in 46% (95% CI 31, 62), increasing standing systolic BP by 20 mmHg (95% CI 12, 29). Neither therapy had a significant effect on symptoms. There were no adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: in comparison to single therapy, there is little additional benefit to be gained from combination non-pharmacologic therapy. Focussing on single, efficacious therapies, such as bolus water drinking or PCM, should become standard first-line therapy.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Frith J, Newton JL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Age and Ageing

Year: 2020

Volume: 49

Issue: 2

Pages: 253-257

Print publication date: 01/03/2020

Online publication date: 23/12/2019

Acceptance date: 19/10/2019

Date deposited: 18/05/2021

ISSN (print): 0002-0729

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2834

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afz173

PubMed id: 31868889


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