Prevalence estimates of depression in hypertensive patients varied widely in existing studies. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies to summarize the point prevalence of depressive symptoms in adults with hypertension.
Comprehensive electronic searches of PubMed, Web of Knowledge, China National Knowledge Internet (CNKI), Wangfang, and Weipu databases were conducted to identify any study in each database published from initial state to November 31, 2014, reporting the prevalence of depression in hypertensive patients. Random-effects model was used to estimate the prevalence of depressive symptoms. We also limited the analyses to studies using clinical interview and prespecified criteria for diagnosis. All statistical calculations were made by using the Stata Version 12.0 (College Station, TX) and Statsdirect Version 2.7.9.
We identified 41 studies with a total population of 30,796 in the present meta-analysis. The summarized prevalence of depression among hypertensive patients is 26.8% (95% confidence interval (CI): 21.7%–32.3%). Subgroup analysis shows the following results: for male 24.6%, 95% CI: 14.8%–35.9%, for female 24.4%, 95% CI: 14.6%–35.8%. For China: 28.5% (95% CI: 22.2%–35.3%); for other region (22.1%, 95% CI: 12.1%–34.1%); for community: 26.3% (95% CI: 17.7%–36.0%), for hospital: 27.2% (95% CI: 20.6%–34.5%). Estimated prevalence by interview was 21.3% (95% CI: 14.2%–30.0%); prevalence of depressive symptoms adjudicated by self-rating scales was 29.8% (95% CI: 23.3%–36.7%).
The observed heterogeneity in depression prevalence of hypertension may be attributed to differences in method of evaluation. Self-report scales should be cautious of estimating the presence of depression. Thus, interview-defined depression affects approximately one third of hypertensive patients. Effective interventions for depression on patient-centered are needed.