Several studies have suggested that orthostatic hypotension may be an independent predictor of cardiovascular or cerebrovascular risk and all-cause mortality, particularly in a geriatric population. In 1996, a consensus defined orthostatic hypotension as a SBP fall at least 20 mmHg and/or a DBP fall at least 10 mmHg within 3 min of standing.
Pubmed and Cochrane database were searched up to October 2013 in order to identify prospective studies evaluating, in adult populations, the association between orthostatic hypotension as defined by the 1996 consensus and clinical outcome. Meta-regression was performed when sufficient data were available.
A total of 28 prospective studies were found eligible for inclusion in this systematic review. Nine prospective studies found an association between orthostatic hypotension and various cardiovascular events such as coronary disease, heart failure, and arrhythmias. No association was found between orthostatic hypotension and the risk for strokes and falls in the majority of the prospective included studies. Insufficient data were available to perform a meta-analysis for strokes and falls. The meta-analysis of seven prospective studies found that orthostatic hypotension is associated with a significant increased risk for overall mortality [pooled hazard ratio in random-effects model = 1.36 (1.13–1.63), P < 0.001)].
This meta-analysis provides evidence that orthostatic hypotension is associated with a 36% increase in the risk of overall mortality. A systematic review of the literature suggests that orthostatic hypotension is also associated with a higher risk for cardiovascular events. Insufficient data are available to enable a precise assessment of the association of orthostatic hypotension with strokes and falls.