People who get headrushes 'are at greater risk of suffering heart failure'
Heart failure occurs when the organ has trouble pumping
enough blood around the body
16:40 GMT, 21 March 2012
Dizzy spell: Caused by a rapid drop in blood pressure known as orthostatic hypotension
People who feel light-headed and woozy when they jump out of bed may have a higher risk of developing heart failure.
Dizzy spells experienced after standing up suddenly are caused by a rapid drop in blood pressure known as orthostatic hypotension.
Scientists found people who experienced the condition were 54 per cent more likely to develop heart failure than those who didn't.
The risk still stood at 34 per cent when researchers took account of those who also suffered from high blood pressure.
It was most pronounced in those aged between 44 and 55 years old according to the study published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.
To reach their results the team from the University of North Carolina measured the blood pressure of 12,000 patients when they were lying down and shortly after they stood up. They followed-up an average 17.5 years later. Heart failure was taken from hospital admission records or death certificates.
About 11 per cent of patients who developed heart failure had
orthostatic hypotension at the start of the study, compared with only 4
per cent of those who did not develop heart failure.
Study leader Dr Christine DeLong Jones, said: 'Orthostatic hypotension appears to be related to the development
of heart failure.
'Hypertension, diabetes and coronary heart disease are already
known to contribute to a person’s risk of developing heart failure.
'Orthostatic blood pressure measurement may supplement what is already
known about the risk for heart failure and requires no additional
equipment, just a standard blood pressure cuff.'
Heart failure affects around 5.7 million people in the United
States and around 900,000 people in the UK.
It describes what happens when the heart is having trouble pumping
enough blood around the body and usually occurs because the heart muscle
has become too weak or stiff to work properly.
The condition often develops slowly and can be controlled with medication.