Postprandial Hypotension and Impaired Postprandial Sustained and Selective Attention in Older Inpatients: Is There a Link?

Giorgio Basile, Maria c. Quattropani, Alberto Sardella, Federica Bellone, Giuliana Ciancio, Daniela Brischetto, Angela Alibrandi, Giuseppe Maltese, Giuseppe Mandraffino, Giovanni Squadrito, Francesco Corica, Antonino Catalano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Objectives: The study aimed to investigate the prevalence of postprandial hypotension (PPH) in older inpatients, to verify the overall postprandial behavior of blood pressure and attentional performances, and to explore the overall associations between blood pressure (including PPH) and attentional performances. Eventually, we aimed to investigate differences on PPH, blood pressure values and attentional performances based on the subjects’ frailty status. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting and Participants: A sample of older inpatients at the Geriatric Unit of the University Hospital of Messina (Italy). Methods: Basal, preprandial, and postprandial blood pressures (75 minutes after the meal) were measured for each patient; PPH was detected according to its empirical definition. Global cognitive functioning, and sustained and selective attention were assessed; a 46-item Frailty Index was calculated. Results: The sample consisted of 112 inpatients (54 females), with a mean age of 80.9 years. The prevalence of PPH was 30.4%; in the postprandial window, a reduction in blood pressure between 10 and 20 mm Hg and a reduction of >20 mm Hg were reported by 27.1% and 29.9% of inpatients, respectively. In the postprandial evaluation, sustained and selective attention markedly decreased. No significant associations were found between PPH occurrence and the postprandial dip of attentional performances, and no significant cognitive differences were found between inpatients with and without PPH. On the other hand, reduced postprandial attentional performances were associated especially with preprandial lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure values. Ultimately, no significant differences in PPH occurrence were found between frail and nonfrail inpatients; frail inpatients significantly exhibited also an overall lower cognitive functioning. Conclusions and Implications: In our sample, PPH and impaired postprandial attentional performances were not associated, even though this association deserves further investigation. In hospitalized older adults, the accurate management of blood pressure levels appears relevant, because we evidenced that low blood pressure (especially preprandial) was associated with poor attentional functioning. Although the plausible occurrence of several interfering and confounder factors was observed in an acute care setting, we consider that the screening of attentional functioning among hospitalized older patients could be helpful.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1082-1087.e2
JournalJournal Of The American Medical Directors Association
Issue number7
Early online date27 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


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