BACKGROUND An extensive, albeit contrasting literature has suggested a possible role for orthostatic hypotension as a risk factor for cardiovascular (CVD) and non-CVD mortality, while no data are available for orthostatic hypertension. We investigated whether orthostatic changes in blood pressure (BP) were associated with any increased risk of all-cause, CVD or non-CVD mortality in a group of elderly people. METHODS Two thousand seven hundred and eighty six community-dwelling older participants were followed for 4.4 years. Participants were grouped according to whether they had a drop ≤20mm Hg in systolic, or ≤10mm Hg in diastolic BP (orthostatic hypotension), an increase in mean orthostatic systolic BP ≥20 (orthostatic hypertension), or normal changes within 3 minutes of orthostatism. RESULTS During follow-up, 640 subjects died, 208 of them for CVD-related reasons. Adjusted Cox's regression analysis revealed that, compared with normal changes, orthostatic hypertension was associated with higher all-cause (HR = 1.23; 95% CI: 1.02-1.39) and CVD-related mortality (HR = 1.41; 95% CI: 1.08-1.74), while orthostatic hypotension was only associated with a higher non-CVD mortality (HR = 1.19; 95% CI: 1.01-1.60). Orthostatic hypertension emerged as a predictor of all-cause mortality for: participants over 75 years old; participants with a BMI below 25kg/m2; participants with no CVD or disabilities; and those taking less than three medications. Orthostatic hypertension also predicted CVD-related mortality in individuals with no hypertension, heart failure, coronary artery disease, or atrial fibrillation. CONCLUSIONS Orthostatic hypertension and hypotension both seem to be relevant risk factors for mortality in the elderly, orthostatic hypertension correlating with all-cause and CVD-related mortality and orthostatic hypotension with non-CVD mortality. © American Journal of Hypertension, Ltd 2015.