Depression and anxiety are associated with a diagnosis of hypertension 5 years later in a cohort of late middle-aged men and women.

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The aim of this study is to examine the association between symptoms of depression and anxiety and hypertension status. Participants (n=455, 238 women) were drawn from the Dutch Famine Birth Cohort Study. In 2002-2004, they attended a clinic assessment during which socio-demographics, anthropometrics, resting systolic blood pressure (SBP) and health behaviours were measured. Symptoms of depression and anxiety were measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. In 2008-2009, participants completed a questionnaire, which asked whether they ever had a physician diagnosing them as suffering from hypertension. In separate regression models that initially adjusted for age and then additionally for sex, socio-economic status, smoking, sports participation, alcohol consumption, resting SBP, antidepressive and anxiolytic medication, whether or not participants were exposed to the Dutch famine in utero, BMI and waist:hip ratio, both depression and anxiety were positively associated with hypertension status. Those who met the criterion for possible clinical depression and anxiety were also more likely to be hypertensive, and these associations remained statistically significant in the fully adjusted regression model. In conclusion, symptoms of depression and anxiety were associated with a diagnosis of hypertension assessed 5 years later, although the mechanisms underlying these associations remain to be determined.Journal of Human Hypertension advance online publication, 17 May 2012; doi:10.1038/jhh.2012.18.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187–190
JournalJournal of Human Hypertension
Volume 27
Early online date17 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • anxiety, depression, hypertension