Today in We Are All Fucked: do you ever get dizzy when you stand up too quickly? Researchers have discovered that lightheadedness that follows rising from a seated or lying down position may be a sign for things to come. And that thing is death!
Dizziness upon standing is caused by something called orthostatic hypotension, which is fancy science-talk for "upright standing low blood pressure." People suffering from it feel dizzy because their hearts don't give enough of a crap about the rest of their bodies to work hard enough to keep their blood pressure high as they go from Sleep Time to Action Time. Their hearts are slackers who did it all for the nookie, like Fred Durst but worse at pumping blood (but probably better at music).
But according to some pretty extensive new research, people who experience a moment of dizziness after standing up too quickly may have heart failure in their future. The nookie doesn't really seem worth it now, does it, rap-metal heart?!
The 12,000 subject strong, 17.5 year study that uncovered this unfortunate association was conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina. Healthy adult participants in the research had their blood pressure taken while they were lying down and then again after they stood up. Subjects were then tracked over the course of the next several years, and researchers found that those participants who experienced a sharp drop in blood pressure after standing were much more likely to have experienced heart failure than those who experienced no drop in blood pressure. In fact, they were 1.34 times as likely to have developed heart failure than their normal, robust-hearted brethren. And subjects with previously existing hypertension were more than 1.5 times more likely to develop heart failure.
The results of the study will be published in an upcoming issue of a journal called — I'm not even kidding — Hypertension. America's favorite scary medical journal for read-alouds, alongside such titles as Sudden Death Monthly and Cancer: For Kids.
Doctors were careful to point out that while orthostatic hypotension may be indicative of an underlying problem, it alone is not going to kill you; not everyone who experiences occasional dizziness is headed toward Heart Failure Highway. And if you're concerned about getting dizzy all the time, doctors helpfully suggest drinking more water and seeing if that helps.
Someday soon we'll finally defeat the causes of death and then we'll all live forever. Until then: constant vigilance.