[Postprandial hypotension in the elderly].Presse Med. 2003 Aug 09; 32(26):1226-30, 1237.PM
A FREQUENT BLOOD PRESSURE DISORDER: Falls and syncope are frequent accidents in the elderly and may be caused by a large variety of disorders. Over the past decade, postprandial hypotension (PPH), which is defined as a decrease in systolic blood pressure of 20 mmHg or more within two hours of ingestion of the meal, has been recognised as a common cause of syncope and falls in this population. It should therefore be searched for systematically in any assessment of syncope and falls. The PPH mechanism is not fully understood, but PPH is probably the consequence of an alteration in the compensatory mechanisms for meal-induced splanchnic blood pooling and the lowering of peripheral vascular resistance following ingestion of food. REGARDING TREATMENT: Treatment of PPH, which may be non pharmacologic and pharmacologic, is not well codified, because too few rigorous studies has been conducted on symptomatic patients.