Intermittent walking: a potential treatment for older people with postprandial hypotension.

Research paper by Shailaja S Nair, Renuka R Visvanathan, Diana D Gentilcore

Indexed on: 13 Oct '14Published on: 13 Oct '14Published in: Journal of the American Medical Directors Association


Exercise has been proposed as a possible treatment for postprandial hypotension (PPH), yet, its use has not been extensively investigated. This study aimed to determine the effects of intermittent walking on blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) following ingestion of a glucose drink in older people with PPH.Thirteen persons with PPH were recruited and studied on 2 randomized days (control, intervention). On both study days, participants ingested 200 mL of water containing 50 g glucose, followed by ambulatory BP and HR monitoring 6 minutely for 60 minutes, then 15 minutely until 120 minutes. On the intervention day, participants walked at their usual pace for 30 m every 30 minutes for 120 minutes.On the control day, significant falls in systolic blood pressure (SBP) (P < .005) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (P = .016) were demonstrated between t = 0-120 minutes. On the intervention day, over the same period, there was no significant fall in SBP (P = .520), however, DBP still fell significantly (P = .045). There was a statistically significant difference (P = .005) for the area under the curve for the change in SBP from baseline for the study days but not DBP (P = .716). There was no significant change in HR (control: P = .854; intervention, P = .168) nor between the area under the curve (P = .798) for the change in HR from baseline for the study days.This study suggests that in older people with PPH, intermittent walking at a usual pace attenuates the fall in SBP after ingestion of a glucose drink.