Events & Resources

Syncope and Hypotension in the Elderly Patient

Dr. Lew Lipsitz
Director and Professor, Dept of Aging, Harvard Medical; Chief, Gerontology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Director and Senior Scientist, Institute for Aging Research — spoke on Syncope and Hypotension in the Elderly Patient.

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Syncope and Hypotension in the Elderly Patient

Suggested Reading:

NIH Clinical Guidelines for Transient Loss of Conciousness;
Cooper et al; Annals of Internal Medicine; 2011.

Predicting Adverse Outcomes in Syncope;
Grossman, Lipsitz et al; Journal of Emergency Medicine; 2007.

Orthostatic Hypotension in the Elderly: Diagnosis and Treatment;
Gupta, Lipsitz; American Journal of Medicine; 2007.

Learning Objectives:

1) To understand the effects of aging on blood pressure regulatory mechanisms and how age-related changes in these mechanisms can lead to hypotension and syncope in older people.

2) To recognize that hypertension also impairs blood pressure regulation, further increasing the risk of hypotension and syncope in elderly hypertensive people.

3) To appreciate what is different about syncope in the elderly patient.

4) To tailor the evaluation of syncope to identify the most common causes in elderly patients.

5) To understand that orthostatic and postprandial hypotension are common causes of syncope in elderly people and to become familiar with their etiology and treatment.

6) To identify opportunities for future research on the topics of syncope and hypotension in elderly people.