Effect of levodopa on orthostatic and postprandial hypotension in elderly Parkinsonian patients.J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2001 Dec; 56(12):M749-55.JG
This study describes orthostatic and postprandial hypotension in elderly Parkinsonian patients and evaluates the effect of levodopa therapy on orthostatic and postprandial hypotension in these patients.
Seventeen elderly patients with a clinical diagnosis of Parkinson's disease or Parkinsonism based on the U.K. Parkinson's Disease Society Brain Bank criteria (age range, 66-84 years) participated in the study. Blood pressure was continuously monitored during standardized standing and meal tests, after starting 125-mg b.i.d. doses of levodopa/benserazide (Madopar) or placebo, in a double-blind, randomized, cross-over design. Seventeen age- and sex-matched healthy subjects served as controls.
Orthostatic hypotension was infrequently found in Parkinsonian patients (13%) and healthy subjects (6%; p =.58, between groups), whereas postprandial hypotension was more frequent in Parkinsonian patients (82%) than in healthy subjects (41%; p <.05, between groups). Doses of levodopa/benserazide, administered 2 times per day, did not result in significantly larger blood pressure decreases after standing or eating, or in higher frequencies of orthostatic or postprandial hypotension in the Parkinsonian group. Postprandial hypotension was related to disease severity (r = -.56, p <.05).
Postprandial hypotension, but not orthostatic hypotension, was more common in elderly Parkinsonian patients than in healthy subjects. Therapy with 125-mg b.i.d. doses of levodopa/benserazide did not significantly aggravate orthostatic or postprandial hypotension.