Blood Pressure Abnormalities in Parkinson's Disease in a Nigerian Population
To compare the effect of posture on blood pressure in levodopa-treated Parkinson's disease (PD) patients with that of age-matched controls. The design is a case control study. Blood pressure was recorded manually in the seated position with Accossons® mercury sphygmomanometer in 30 consecutive patients with PD on levodopa who had no hypertension and it was repeated after two minutes in the erect position to test for orthostatic hypotension (OH). The results were compared with blood pressure in the seated and erect positions in 30 consecutive age-matched controls that had no hypertension. The mean seated and erect systolic and diastolic blood pressures of both groups were compared with t-test for any significant difference(s); the mean seated and erect systolic and diastolic blood pressures of each group were also compared with paired t-test for any significant difference(s) and the proportion of study participants in both groups with orthostatic hypotension were determined. (a) Mean seated and erect systolic and diastolic blood pressures were significantly higher in PD subjects than age matched controls (p=0.000, 0.000) and (p=0.001, 0.000) (b) Mean erect systolic blood pressure was significantly lower than seated blood pressure in PD and significantly higher in controls (p=0.025 and 0.027) (c) OH was found in 6/30(20%) versus 0/30(0%) for cases and controls respectively. Higher seated and erect blood pressures and OH were found in levodopa treated PD compared to age-matched controls and these abnormalities should be assiduously looked out for in the evaluation of PD.
Key words: Parkinson's disease, blood pressure, orthostatic hypotension, Nigerians.