Standing up and suddenly getting dizzy is normal, but a new study warns that frequent dizziness may hint to brain problems that could unfortunately be the precursor to premature death, due to several neurological conditions.
While the occasional occurrence is normal and should not be a cause for concern, frequent incidents should be taken as a warning and be followed-up with a visit to the doctor, as it may be the clue to a serious health problem.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School have stated that the cause of often dizziness is caused by orthostatic hypotension (OH) , which is more plainly explained by the sudden drop of blood pressure after changing positions.
It’s a problem that becomes increasingly common with age, and affects between 5-10% of adults between the ages of 60-70 years old, according to Dr. Christopher Gibbons, an associate professor of neurology at the university in Boston. The sudden drop in blood pressure may be an indication of an undiagnosed problem of the nervous system that should be taken into consideration.
This is a condition when the patients gets gradually worse after standing up. It’s not like the usual dizziness after shifting from a sitting position, like head rushes or lightheadedness, that passes after a few moments.
The person afflicted with OH gets worse and worse until they have to sit down again, or they could be affected by its milder form, delayed orthostatic hypotension (DOH), when the individual start getting dizzy over 3 minutes later after changing position.
Researchers studied the cases of 165 patients, with the average age of 59 years old, and examined the patients who had DOH in order to determine if their nervous systems were failing. The study was conducted with a 10 year follow-up for all the patients, that led to answers about the possible consequences of the condition.
A decade later, 54% of the patients who were diagnosed with DOH eventually progressed to OH, while 31% of them developed full-blown conditions, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Around 29% of the patients with DOH and 64% of those with OH died within the 10 years of follow-up, while only 9% of those without either condition saw to the same fate.
According to Gibbons, the study suggests that even those with the milder form, DOH, can develop into dangerous neurodegenerative conditions. This is especially more common for patients who suffer both from the condition and diabetes.
Of course though, not all who suffer from dizziness periodically have OH, as it could be caused by environmental factors, dehydration, medication use or other medical conditions. It’s only the frequent occurrences that should pose as a worry.
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