Depressive symptoms, antidepressant use, and hypertension in young adulthood

Danielle M. Crookes, Ryan T. Demmer, Katherine M. Keyes, Karestan C. Koenen, Shakira F. Suglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


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 (PR Men, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.2, 2.0; PR Women, 1.2; 95% CI, 0.89, 1.6; p interaction = 0.0227). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and non-selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant use were associated with hypertension (PR SSRI, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.0, 1.6; PR non-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,

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-555
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by grants from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (R25-GM062454); the National Institutes of Health (R01-DK102932); the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (K01AA021511); and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (HL125761).

Funding Information:
Data and computing code: This research uses data from Add Health, a pro-gram project directed by Kathleen Mullan Harris and designed by J. Rich-ard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and funded by grant P01-HD31921 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with cooperative funding from 23 other fed-eral agencies and foundations. Special acknowledgment is due Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwisle for assistance in the original design. Information on how to obtain the Add Health data files is available on the Add Health website ( No direct sup-port was received from grant P01-HD31921 for this analysis.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Adolescents
  • Antidepressants
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Hypertension
  • Young adults


Dive into the research topics of 'Depressive symptoms, antidepressant use, and hypertension in young adulthood'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this