Postprandial blood pressure reduction in healthy elderly.J Am Geriatr Soc. 1986 Apr; 34(4):267-70.JA
Previous studies have identified postprandial systolic blood pressure reductions in old, frail institutionalized subjects, which do not occur in healthy, young subjects, after a morning meal. To evaluate the relative contributions of state of health and time of day to this potentially dangerous abnormality in cardiovascular homeostasis, we measured sitting systolic blood pressure and heart rate before and at intervals after a noon meal, and in identical fashion without a meal, in 21 healthy, community-dwelling elderly subjects (73 +/- 6 years of age) attending a nutrition program. Systolic blood pressure changed a maximum of -11 +/- 9 (SD) mmHg (P = .006, analysis of variance) by 60 minutes after the meal, in contrast to 1 +/- 7 mmHg (NS) by 60 minutes, when no meal was given (P less than .0001, meal versus control studies). There was a highly significant inverse correlation between postprandial and basal sitting systolic blood pressure changes (R = -0.60, P = .004). Healthy community-dwelling elderly demonstrate postprandial reductions in systolic blood pressure which correlate with basal sitting systolic blood pressure. This is consistent with age- and hypertension-related impairment in baroreflex compensation for the hypotensive stress of eating.