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J Am Heart Assoc. 2019 May 21;8(10):e011938. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.119.011938.

Blood Pressure Lowering With Nilvadipine in Patients With Mild-to-Moderate Alzheimer Disease Does Not Increase the Prevalence of Orthostatic Hypotension.

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1 Department of Geriatric Medicine Radboud University Medical Center Donders Institute for Brain Cognition and Behaviour Nijmegen The Netherlands.
2 Radboudumc Alzheimer Center Nijmegen The Netherlands.
3 Department for Health Evidence Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen The Netherlands.
4 Mercer's Institute for Research on Ageing St. James's Hospital Dublin Ireland.
5 Department of Medical Gerontology Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience Dublin Ireland.


Background Hypertension is common among patients with Alzheimer disease. Because this group has been excluded from hypertension trials, evidence regarding safety of treatment is lacking. This secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial assessed whether antihypertensive treatment increases the prevalence of orthostatic hypotension (OH) in patients with Alzheimer disease. Methods and Results Four hundred seventy-seven patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer disease were randomized to the calcium-channel blocker nilvadipine 8 mg/day or placebo for 78 weeks. Presence of OH (blood pressure drop ≥20/≥10 mm Hg after 1 minute of standing) and OH-related adverse events (dizziness, syncope, falls, and fractures) was determined at 7 follow-up visits. Mean age of the study population was 72.2±8.2 years and mean Mini-Mental State Examination score was 20.4±3.8. Baseline blood pressure was 137.8±14.0/77.0±8.6 mm Hg. Grade I hypertension was present in 53.4% (n=255). After 13 weeks, blood pressure had fallen by -7.8/-3.9 mm Hg for nilvadipine and by -0.4/-0.8 mm Hg for placebo ( P<0.001). Across the 78-week intervention period, there was no difference between groups in the proportion of patients with OH at a study visit (odds ratio [95% CI]=1.1 [0.8-1.5], P=0.62), nor in the proportion of visits where a patient met criteria for OH, corrected for number of visits (7.7±13.8% versus 7.3±11.6%). OH-related adverse events were not more often reported in the intervention group compared with placebo. Results were similar for those with baseline hypertension. Conclusions This study suggests that initiation of a low dose of antihypertensive treatment does not significantly increase the risk of OH in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer disease. Clinical Trial Registration URL: . Unique identifier: NCT02017340.


Alzheimer disease; adverse drug event; antihypertensive agent; calcium channel blocker; orthostatic hypotension; randomized controlled trial

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