Background: Because hypertension and depression share common pathways, it is possible that each disease has an impact on the natural history of the other.
Objective: To determinate whether depression influences blood pressure control in hypertensive patients.
Methods: Forty hypertensive patients undergoing antihypertensive treatment, excluding beta-blockers and central-acting agents, self-measured their blood pressure several times a day for three days using a validated, commercially available device. All patients also completed the Zung Self-rating Depression Scale survey for depression. Associations between the results of the blood pressure and depression tests were determined using the Spearman correlation coefficient; RR was also measured.
Results: Of the 40 patients, 23 were depressed, and 21 of these 23 had poor control of their blood pressure. The RR for uncontrolled hypertension in depressed patients was 15.5. A significant correlation between systolic (r=0.713) and diastolic (r=0.52) blood pressure values and depression was found.
Conclusion: Depression is common in patients with uncontrolled hypertension and may interfere with blood pressure control. Screening for depression in hypertensive patients is a simple and cost-effective tool that may improve outcomes.
Keywords: Blood pressure control; Depression; Hypertension.