Orthostatic heart rate and blood pressure in adolescents: reference ranges

J Child Neurol. 2010 Oct;25(10):1210-5. doi: 10.1177/0883073809359539. Epub 2010 Mar 1.


This descriptive population study of 307 public high school students, ages 15 to 17 years, was performed to establish reference ranges for orthostatic changes in heart rate and blood pressure in adolescents, and to identify influential variables. Noninvasive measurements of blood pressure and heart rate were obtained. Reference ranges for orthostatic heart rate change in this population at 2 minutes were -2 to +41 beats per minute and at 5 minutes were -1 to +48 beats per minute. Orthostatic blood pressure changes were within the adult range for 98% of adolescents tested. One-third of participants experienced orthostatic symptoms during testing. In conclusion, this study shows that orthostatic symptoms and large orthostatic heart rate changes occur in adolescents. This suggests that the current orthostatic heart rate criterion aiding the diagnosis of adult orthostatic intolerance syndromes is likely not appropriate for adolescents and should be reevaluated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Aging / physiology
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / diagnosis*
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / epidemiology*
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / physiopathology
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hypotension, Orthostatic / diagnosis
  • Hypotension, Orthostatic / epidemiology
  • Hypotension, Orthostatic / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Orthostatic Intolerance / diagnosis*
  • Orthostatic Intolerance / epidemiology*
  • Orthostatic Intolerance / physiopathology
  • Posture / physiology
  • Reference Values