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Standing up suddenly linked to dementia risk

October 18, 2016

People who experience dizziness when suddenly standing up are at increased risk of dementia, a study has revealed.

The researchers, writing from the Erasmus Medical Centre in the Netherlands, also suggest that frequent drops in blood pressure are linked to the degenerative cognitive condition.

The study focuses on transient periods of low blood pressure – also known as postural hypotension – which become more common in older age.

These periods can sometimes leave people feeling dizzy or give them “head rushes” when standing up suddenly, the report said.

But after tracking 6,000 people for an average of 15 years, the researchers found that those who suffered repeated episodes of low blood pressure on standing were more likely to develop dementia in the years that followed.

Lead researcher Dr Arfan Ikram said: “Even though the effect can be seen as subtle – with an increased risk of about 4 per cent for people with postural hypotension compared to those without it – so many people suffer from postural hypotension as they get older that it could have a significant impact on the burden of dementia across the world.

“If people experience frequent episodes of dizziness on standing, particularly as they get older, they should see their GPs for advice.”

He added that young people, who often have one-off episodes of dizziness when standing up, should not be unduly worried.

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