BACKGROUND: Orthostatic hypotension (OH), an impaired blood pressure (BP) response to postural change, has been associated with cognitive decline and dementia, possibly through cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD). We hypothesized that longer duration of BP drop and a larger BP drop is associated with increased risk of CSVD. METHODS: This cross-sectional study included 3971 memory clinic patients (mean age 68 years, 45% female, 42% subjective cognitive complaints, 17% mild cognitive impairment, 41% dementia) from the Amsterdam Ageing Cohort and Amsterdam Dementia Cohort. Early OH (EOH) was defined as a drop in BP of ±20 mmHg systolic and/or 10 mmHg diastolic only at 1 min after standing, and delayed/prolonged OH (DPOH) at 1 and/or 3 min after standing. Presence of CSVD [white matter hyperintensities (WMH), lacunes, microbleeds] was assessed with MRI ( n  = 3584) or CT brain (n = 389). RESULTS: The prevalence of early OH was 9% and of delayed/prolonged OH 18%. Age- and sex-adjusted logistic regression analyses showed that delayed/prolonged OH, but not early OH, was significantly associated with a higher burden of WMH (OR, 95%CI: 1.21, 1.00-1.46) and lacunes (OR, 95%CI 1.34, 1.06-1.69), but not microbleeds (OR, 95%CI 1.22, 0.89-1.67). When adjusting for supine SBP, these associations attenuated (ORs, 95%CI for WMH 1.04, 0.85-1.27; for lacunes 1.21, 0.91-1.62; for microbleeds 0.95, 0.68-1.31). A larger drop in SBP was associated with increased risk of WMH and microbleeds, however, when adjusted for supine SBP, this effect diminished. CONCLUSIONS: Among memory clinic patients, DPOH is more common than EOH. While longer duration and larger magnitude of BP drop coincided with a higher burden of CSVD, these associations were largely explained by high supine BP.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1738-1744
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023


  • cerebral small vessel disease
  • dementia
  • hypertension
  • orthostatic hypotension

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