Depression, which is a risk factor for cardiac morbidity and mortality, is not an unusual occurrence among individuals with coronary heart disease (CHD), but evidence concerning its role in the pathogenesis of this condition is less clear. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) has become an important tool in the diagnosis and management of hypertension. Several previous studies have indicated that various kinds of target organ damage and cardiovascular morbidity are more strongly associated with a diagnosis by ABPM than through spot-checks in a clinical setting. This study investigated whether depressive mood was associated with changes in the about-weekly (circaseptan) and half-weekly (circasemiseptan) variations in blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR), including a BP surge on Mondays, in community-dwelling subjects monitored chronomically for the time structure (chronome) of their BP and HR variabilities. From April 2001 to April 2003, 217 subjects (85 men and 132 women; mean age: 56.8±11.3 yr) from U town, Hokkaido (latitude: 43.45°N, longitude: 141.85°E), self-monitored their BP and HR for 7 days starting around 11 a.m. on Thursday, and took readings at 30-minute intervals between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., then at 60-minute intervals between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. The data were retrieved and analyzed on a PC with appropriate commercial software (TM-2430-15; A&D Co., Japan). Subjects were asked about 15 items on a depression rating scale through a self-administered questionnaire. When the score amounted to 5 or higher, subjects were considered to be depressive. Student's t-test, a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), and cosinor methods with parametric tests were also used. A p-value below 0.05 was considered to indicate statistical significance (below 0.10: borderline statistical significance). Depression rating scales were obtained for 192 out of the 217 subjects enrolled in this study. Depression scores were (>) 5 in 72 subjects. The average values of systolic (S) and diastolic (D) BP were statistically significantly higher in depressed subjects (SBP: 129.2 vs 124.5 mmHg; p=0.034; DBP: 79.0 vs 76.5 mmHg; p=0.041). The 7-day average for HR did not differ between subjects with depression scores of < 5 or > 5. DBP dipping was less in the depressed subjects (16.30 vs 18.22%; p=0.048). The dipping ratios of SBP and HR showed no statistically significant difference. In the group with depression scores of <5, HR variability (estimated by the SD of HR and HR dip) was higher during vacations and lower on Mondays. The 24-h BP measures showed a novelty effect and a surge on Mondays. In the depressed group, a prominent circaseptan rhythm appeared to replace the novelty effect, vacation dip, and Monday surge. The results of this investigation indicate the clinical importance of the monitoring of depressed subjects. Fewer than 7 days of monitoring means a greater risk of false diagnosis, and thus a therapeutic decision including potentially unnecessary or inappropriate long-term treatment. Records shorter than 7 days would not have detected circaseptan BP dysrhythmia associated with a depressive state. Prominent circaseptans can provide new indications on the mechanisms underlying the strong relation between depression and adverse cardiac events. Future studies should aim at determining whether the treatment of depression, especially from the standpoint of a chronodiagnosis and chronotherapy, can reduce the incidence of adverse cardiac events, and whether this depends upon restoring normal BP and HR variability, i.e. anormal BP and HR chronome.
- Chronomic community screening
- Elevated blood pressure
- Infradian vascular rhythm