Standing beat-to-beat blood pressure variability is reduced among fallers in the Malaysian Elders Longitudinal Study

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between falls and beat-to-beat blood pressure (BP) variability.

Continuous noninvasive BP measurement is as accurate as invasive techniques. We evaluated beat-to-beat supine and standing BP variability (BPV) using time and frequency domain analysis from noninvasive continuous BP recordings.

A total of 1218 older adults were selected. Continuous BP recordings obtained were analyzed to determine standard deviation (SD) and root mean square of real variability (RMSRV) for time domain BPV and fast-Fourier transform low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), total power spectral density (PSD), and LF:HF ratio for frequency domain BPV.

Comparisons were performed between 256 (21%) individuals with at least 1 fall in the past 12 months and nonfallers. Fallers were significantly older (P = .007), more likely to be female (P = .006), and required a longer time to complete the Timed-Up and Go test (TUG) and frailty walk test (P ≤ .001). Standing systolic BPV (SBPV) was significantly lower in fallers compared to nonfallers (SBPV-SD, P = .016; SBPV-RMSRV, P = .033; SBPV-LF, P = .003; SBPV-total PSD, P = .012). Nonfallers had significantly higher supine to standing ratio (SSR) for SBPV-SD, SBPV-RMSRV, and SBPV-total PSD (P = .017, P = .013, and P = .009). In multivariate analyses, standing BPV remained significantly lower in fallers compared to nonfallers after adjustment for age, sex, diabetes, frailty walk, and supine systolic BP. The reduction in frequency-domain SSR among fallers was attenuated by supine systolic BP, TUG, and frailty walk.

In conclusion, reduced beat-to-beat BPV while standing is independently associated with increased risk of falls. Changes between supine and standing BPV are confounded by supine BP and walking speed.

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