Initial orthostatic hypotension and orthostatic intolerance symptom prevalence in older adults: A systematic review

Elena M. Christopoulos, Jennifer Tran, Sarah L. Hillebrand, Peter W. Lange, Rebecca K. Iseli, Carel G.M. Meskers, Andrea B. Maier

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Initial orthostatic hypotension is a clinically relevant syndrome in older adults which has been associated with symptoms of orthostatic intolerance. The aim of this systematic review was to determine the prevalence of orthostatic intolerance symptoms in older adults with initial orthostatic hypotension. Methods: MEDLINE (from 1946), EMBASE (from 1974) and Cochrane were searched to December 6th, 2019 using the terms “initial orthostatic hypotension”, “postural hypotension” and “older adults”. Study selection involved the following criteria: published in English; mean or median age ≥65 years and diagnosis of initial orthostatic hypotension encompassed a decrease in systolic blood pressure by ≥ 40 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure by ≥ 20 mmHg within a maximum of 1 min following a postural change. Results: Of 8311 articles, 12 articles reporting initial orthostatic hypotension prevalence in 3446 participants with a mean age of 75 (6 SD) years (56.5% female) were included. Five initial orthostatic hypotension definition variations were utilised and symptoms were reported in six articles (968 participants, mean age 73.4 (6.1 SD) years, 56% female). The prevalence of symptoms in older adults with initial orthostatic hypotension ranged from 24 to 100% and was dependent on variations in timing or the inclusion of symptoms in the initial orthostatic hypotension definition. Conclusions: Where orthostatic intolerance symptoms were reported, a large proportion of older adults with a diagnosis of initial orthostatic hypotension were symptomatic. However, the literature on initial orthostatic hypotension and orthostatic intolerance symptoms is scarce and a variety of definitions of initial orthostatic hypotension are utilised.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100071
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology: Hypertension
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • Blood pressure
  • Frail elderly
  • Hypotension
  • Orthostatic intolerance
  • Symptoms
  • Syncope

Cite this