Incidence of postural hypotension recorded in UK general practice: an electronic health records study
Cini Bhanu, , Irene Petersen, , Mine Orlu, , Daniel Davis, Kate Walters
Background Postural hypotension is a common condition associated with adverse outcomes in older adults. General practice plays an important role in identification of the condition. Aim To examine the incidence of postural hypotension between 2008 and 2018 in general practice and how trends vary by age, sex, year, and social deprivation. Design and setting Retrospective cohort study using electronic health records from the IQVIA Medical Research Data (IMRD) between 2008 and 2018. Method Patients were included if they were aged ≥50 years. Incident postural hypotension was identified as a new (first) recording of a postural hypotension code. Recording of incident postural hypotension was estimated per 10 000 person–years at risk (PYAR) according to age, sex, year, and social deprivation. Incident rate ratios were estimated by multivariable Poisson regression. Results Of 2 911 260 patients, 24 973 had an electronic record indicating a new diagnosis of postural hypotension between 2008 and 2018. This was equivalent to 17.9 cases per 10 000 PYAR in males (95% confidence interval [CI] = 17.6 to 18.2) and 16.2 cases per 10 000 PYAR in females (95% CI = 15.9 to 16.5). A significant age–sex interaction was identified. Recorded postural hypotension rate increased with age and social deprivation, and reduced between 2008 and 2018. The rate was higher in males compared with females, particularly in older age groups (>80 years). Conclusion To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to quantify incident recorded postural hypotension in general practice. The rate is lower than expected compared with studies in screened older populations. Potential barriers to identification include underreporting, underdetection owing to lack of time and/or poorly standardised methods of measurement, and poor coding. Future research should investigate current practice and approaches for increased detection such as education, practical methods of screening, and standardised measurement of postural blood pressure.