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Age Ageing. 2017 Jul 1;46(4):648-653. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afx033.

Does baseline hypotension predict incident depression in a cohort of community-dwelling older people? Data from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA).

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The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.
Department of Medical Gerontology, Mercer's Institute for Successful Ageing, St. James's Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland.
Department of Age-Related Health Care, Tallaght Hospital, Dublin 24, Ireland.



hypotension is now recognised as a risk factor for syncope, cardiovascular events and mortality, but it may also represent a risk factor for late life depression (LLD). The aim of this study was to clarify the longitudinal relationship between hypotension and incident LLD.


this is a longitudinal study involving community-dwelling participants aged ≥50 years, using data from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing. The Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) was administered at baseline and at follow-up 2 years later. Blood pressure (BP) was measured at baseline. Participants with a CES-D score ≥16 at baseline and those taking antidepressants were excluded and considered to have a current diagnosis of depression. A score of ≥16 at follow-up was used to define incident depression.


about 4,525 participants were included and 200 participants had diagnosis of incident LLD. The incident depression group had lower systolic BP at baseline than the non-depressed group (132.8 ± 1.43 mm Hg vs. 136.0 ± 0.30 mm HG, P = 0.025). Logistic regression showed those with systolic BP <130 mm HG had an unadjusted odds ratio of 1.31 (1.01-1.68) for incident depression. This persisted after adjustment for confounding factors.


systolic BP <130 mm Hg increased the likelihood of incident depression in a cohort of community-dwelling older adults. These findings are important because systolic hypotension may represent a potentially modifiable risk factor for LLD. They are also relevant in the context of BP treatment targets for older people.


blood pressure; depression; hypotension; older people

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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