Depressive Symptoms, Antidepressant Use, and Hypertension in Young Adulthood

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Background:Among adults, depressive symptoms are associated with higher rates of cardiovascular disease; however, the evidence is mixed regarding the association between depressive symptoms and hypertension, especially among young adults. The deleterious effects of some antidepressant medications on blood pressure may contribute to mixed findings.Methods:Adolescents enrolled in Add Health (N = 11,183) (1994–2008) completed an abbreviated Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale at three waves (mean ages, 16, 22, and 29). Antidepressant use was measured at age 22 and at age 29. Hypertension at age 29 was defined as measured systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg or greater, diastolic blood pressure of 90 mm Hg or greater, or staff-inventoried anti-hypertensive medication use.Results:The prevalence of hypertension at age 29 was 20%. High depressive symptoms in adolescence or young adulthood were not associated with hypertension in young adulthood. Antidepressant use at age 29 was associated with increased prevalence of hypertension (prevalence ratio [PR], 1.4; 95% CI, 1.2, 1.7) and an interaction with sex was observed (PRMen, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.2, 2.0; PRWomen, 1.2; 95% CI, 0.89, 1.6; pinteraction = 0.0227). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and non–selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant use were associated with hypertension (PRSSRI, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.0, 1.6; PRnon-SSRI, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.2, 2.1).Conclusions:In this sample, antidepressant use, but not depressive symptoms, was associated with hypertension in young adulthood. Further research is recommended to examine joint and independent relationships between depression and antidepressant use and hypertension among young adults. See video abstract at,

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