A recent study published in Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics reported vitamin D deficiency as a possible risk factor in the development of orthostatic hypotension.
Orthostatic hypotension (OH) is a form of low blood pressure that occurs when you stand up from sitting or lying down. It results in feeling light headed, dizzy, and possibly faint. It can lead to cardiovascular events, falls, poor sleep quality, depression, stroke, cognitive impairment, and kidney insufficiency in the elderly. OH affects 20% of people over the age of 65 and 30% of people over the age of 75.
In a study from January, 2014, it was found that vitamin D deficiency was related to diastolic blood pressure in elderly women with OH. Recently, researchers out of Turkey conducted a study to determine if vitamin D deficiency also was related to risk of developing OH.
The researchers included 546 patients above the age of 65 and used hospital files to assess risk factors of OH and its impact on daily living activities.
The researchers examined potential risk factors including BMI, coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes mellitus, peripheral vascular disease, hyperlipidemia, gender and vitamin D.
Of these risk factors, the researchers found that vitamin D deficiency was the only significant risk factor for OH. Only 23.5% of patients with OH had vitamin D levels greater than 20 ng/mL.
The study also found that patients with OH had decreased functionality. Decreased functionality often causes people to go outside less, which decreases the amount of sun exposure, and ultimately causes low vitamin D levels in OH patients. However, the study took this into account and found that both patients with and without OH had similar sun exposure.
The researchers state that based on their findings, optimizing vitamin D levels may be important for the management of OH.