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Int J Hypertens. 2012;2012:426803. doi: 10.1155/2012/426803. Epub 2011 Oct 19.

Depressive Symptoms and 24-Hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure in Africans: The SABPA Study.

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  • 1Psychobiology Group, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, 1-19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 6BT, UK.


Disturbances in circadian rhythm might play a central role in the neurobiology of depression. We examined the association between depressive symptoms and 24-hour ambulatory BP in a sample of 405 (197 black and 208 Caucasian) urbanized African teachers aged 25 to 60 yrs (mean 44.6 ± 9.6 yrs). Depressive symptoms were assessed using the self-administered 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). After adjusting for age, sex, and ethnicity, participants with severe depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 ≥ 15) had higher odds of hypertension defined from ambulatory BP and/or use of antihypertensive medication (odds ratio = 2.19, 95% CI, 1.00-4.90) in comparison to participants with no symptoms. Compared to Caucasians with no depressive symptoms, those with severe symptoms had blunted nocturnal systolic BP drop of 4.7 mmHg (95% CI, -0.5 to 10.0, P = 0.07). In summary, depressive symptoms were associated with the circadian BP profile in black and Caucasian Africans.

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