Antidepressants and Incident Hypertension in Primary Care Patients

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Many ADMs can alter blood pressure (BP), but the research on the effect of antidepressant medication (ADMs) on incident hypertension is mixed. We investigated whether the use of ADMs was associated with the subsequent development of hypertension.


A retrospective cohort study was conducted using electronic medical record data from 6224 patients with primary care visits from 2008 to 2015. Prescription orders were used to identify ADM use, and hypertension was defined by medical record diagnosis. Using package insert warnings, a 3-level ADM exposure variable was created: ADMs that increase BP (ADM BP+), ADMs that do not increase BP, and no ADM. Unadjusted and adjusted Cox proportional hazard models were computed to estimate the association between the ADM exposure and incident hypertension.


Unadjusted results revealed that ADM BP+ use compared with the no ADM group was significantly associated with incident hypertension (hazard ratio, 1.30; 95% confidence interval, 1.08-1.57). After adjusting for covariates, ADM BP+ use was no longer significantly associated with incident hypertension (hazard ratio, 1.20; 95% confidence interval, 0.97-1.49).


Commonly used ADMs were not associated with incident hypertension after controlling for other factors associated with ADM use and hypertension. Research on potential dose and duration effects is warranted.

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