“Middle-aged people who feel dizzy when standing up from a lying-down position may be at a higher risk of dementia or a stroke in the future,” reports BBC News, after researchers followed a large group of people in the US for up to 25 years.
The study looked at postural hypotension – where a person’s blood pressure drops if they quickly stand up from either lying down or sitting. It can make people feel dizzy and increase their risk of fainting or falling over.
The researchers looked at more than 11,000 middle-aged adults who were tested for postural hypotension in the late 1980s. These people were followed up until 2013 to see if they developed dementia or had a stroke.
People who had postural hypotension were around 1.5 times more likely to go on to develop dementia and twice as likely to have a stroke than those who did not have postural hypotension.
However, we cannot be certain that postural hypotension directly caused these increases in risk.
Postural hypotension can have a wide range of causes, such as heart disease, and is also a side effect of high-blood-pressure medications. Both heart disease and high blood pressure are risk factors for dementia, specifically vascular dementia, which is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain.