PURPOSE: A study was designed to compare heart rate variability (HVR) of older adults with postprandial hypotension (PPH) with older adults with no PPH. METHODS: The samples were community-dwelling older adults (> or = 60 years old) with PPH (n=35) and without PPH (n=35). HRV was measured by 10 minutes of electrocardiography using Physiolab 400 and analyzed in time domain (SDNN) and with power spectral analysis in frequency domain (TP, LF, HF, LF/HF). Blood pressure was measured every 15 minutes before and until 120 minutes after the meal. RESULTS: All HRV parameters were lower in the PPH group compared to those with no PPH. Specifically the measures of SDNN, TP, LF, and LF/HF of the PPH group were significantly lower (U=385.0, p=.008; U=361.0, p=.003; U=375.0, p=.005; U=368.0, p=.004, respectively). Further, the LF and LF/HF of SBP (> or =140 mmHg) group and the LF/HF of DBP (> or = 90 mmHg) group were significantly lower (chi2=6.33, p=.042; chi2=33.10, p<.001; chi2=11.03, p=.004, respectively). CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that the autonomic nervous functions in persons with PPH are less activated than those persons with no PPH. The findings contribute to an understanding of HRV and the association of autonomic nervous function with the mechanism of PPH.