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What can happen if you have chronic low blood pressure?

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Chronic low blood pressure with no symptoms is almost never serious -- but health problems can occur when blood pressure drops suddenly and the brain is deprived of an adequate blood supply. This can lead to dizziness or lightheadedness. Sudden drops in blood pressure most commonly occur in someone who's rising from a lying down or sitting position to standing. This kind of low blood pressure is known as postural hypotension or orthostatic hypotension. Another type of low blood pressure can occur when someone stands for a long period of time. This is called neurally mediated hypotension. When it leads to passing out, if is called vasovagal syncope.

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Low Blood Pressure."

Ferri, F. Mosby, 2012. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012

FDA: "Midodrine Update: February 8, 2012."

Thaisetthawatkul P. 2004. Neurology

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: "What Is Hypotension?"

Libby, P and Bonow, R. , Saunders, 2007. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on February 20, 2017

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Low Blood Pressure."

Ferri, F. Mosby, 2012. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012

FDA: "Midodrine Update: February 8, 2012."

Thaisetthawatkul P. 2004. Neurology

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: "What Is Hypotension?"

Libby, P and Bonow, R. , Saunders, 2007. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on February 20, 2017

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What is postural hypotension?

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