Does baseline hypotension predict incident depression in a cohort of community-dwelling older people? Data from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA)

Age Ageing. 2017 Jul 1;46(4):648-653. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afx033.


Background: hypotension is now recognised as a risk factor for syncope, cardiovascular events and mortality, but it may also represent a risk factor for late life depression (LLD). The aim of this study was to clarify the longitudinal relationship between hypotension and incident LLD.

Methods: this is a longitudinal study involving community-dwelling participants aged ≥50 years, using data from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing. The Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) was administered at baseline and at follow-up 2 years later. Blood pressure (BP) was measured at baseline. Participants with a CES-D score ≥16 at baseline and those taking antidepressants were excluded and considered to have a current diagnosis of depression. A score of ≥16 at follow-up was used to define incident depression.

Results: about 4,525 participants were included and 200 participants had diagnosis of incident LLD. The incident depression group had lower systolic BP at baseline than the non-depressed group (132.8 ± 1.43 mm Hg vs. 136.0 ± 0.30 mm HG, P = 0.025). Logistic regression showed those with systolic BP <130 mm HG had an unadjusted odds ratio of 1.31 (1.01-1.68) for incident depression. This persisted after adjustment for confounding factors.

Conclusion: systolic BP <130 mm Hg increased the likelihood of incident depression in a cohort of community-dwelling older adults. These findings are important because systolic hypotension may represent a potentially modifiable risk factor for LLD. They are also relevant in the context of BP treatment targets for older people.

Keywords: blood pressure; depression; hypotension; older people.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aging* / psychology
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Blood Pressure
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / drug therapy
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypotension / diagnosis
  • Hypotension / epidemiology*
  • Hypotension / physiopathology
  • Hypotension / psychology
  • Incidence
  • Independent Living*
  • Ireland / epidemiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors


  • Antidepressive Agents