9 Hypotension Risk Factors
Hypotension risk factors are any attributes, characteristics or exposure that increases the likelihood of developing low blood pressure.
- Age: Drops in blood pressure on standing (Orthostatic hypotension) or after eating (postprandial hypotension) occur primarily in older adults. Neurally mediated hypotension is due to miscommunication between the brain and heart primarily affects children and younger adults.
- Pregnancy: Because a woman's circulatory system expands rapidly during pregnancy, blood pressure is likely to drop. In fact, during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, systolic pressure can drops by 5to 10 points and diastolic pressure as much as 10 to 15 points.
- Dehydration: When one becomes dehydrated, the body loses more water than it takes in. Even mild dehydration can cause weakness, dizziness, and fatigue. Fever, vomiting, severe diarrhea, overuse of diuretics, and strenuous exercise can all lead to dehydration. Far more serious is a hypovolemic shock, a life-threatening complication of dehydration. It occurs when low blood volume causes a sudden drop in blood pressure and a corresponding reduction for oxygen reaching your tissues. If left untreated can lead to severe hypovolemic shock that can cause death within a few minutes or hours.
- Blood loss: Losing a lot of blood from major injury or severe internal bleeding reduces the amount of blood in the body, leading to a severe drop in blood pressure.
- Heat exposure: Being in a hot environment can cause you to sweat that leads to dehydration and can lower your blood pressure.
- Bed rest: Staying in bed for a long time because of an illness may cause weakness.
- Alcohol: Alcohol drinking can increase your risk of hypotension.
- Sweating: Physical exertion is a potential cause of dehydration and hypotension.
- Certain medications: such as medications used to treat Parkinson's disease, certain antidepressants, certain antipsychotics, muscle relaxants, medications to treat erectile dysfunction and narcotics.
Reducing these above-said risk factors can help reduce your chance to develop low blood pressure.
Low blood pressure side effects and its problems
Even moderate forms of low BP can cause some side effects such as dizziness, weakness, fainting, and a risk of injury from falls.
A serious complication of hypotension is the risk of falling, which can lead to physical damage such as a broken bones.
Also, severely low BP from any cause can deprive the body of enough oxygen to carry out its normal functions, leading to damage to the heart and brain. The frequent drop and raise in blood pressure associated with hypotension have a risk towards stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.