Association of depressive and anxiety symptoms with 24-hour urinary catecholamines in individuals with untreated high blood pressure.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: Depression and anxiety are considered risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The explanatory mechanisms, however, are still to be characterized. One proposed pathophysiological pathway is dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system, including heightened sympathetic nervous system activity. This study examined the relationship between symptoms of depression, anxiety, and sympathetic nervous system activity in individuals with untreated high blood pressure. METHODS: A total of 140 participants with untreated high blood pressure (55% white, 38.5% female, mean [standard deviation] age = 45.5 [8.55] years) collected urine over a 24-hour period on 3 separate occasions. Urine samples were assayed for mean 24-hour epinephrine (EPI24) and norepinephrine excretion. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory, with anxiety symptoms assessed using the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. RESULTS: Depression and anxiety scores were intercorrelated (r = 0.76, p < .001). EPI24 was positively correlated with anxiety (r = 0.20, p = .02) but not depression (r = 0.02, p = .77), whereas 24-hour urinary norepinephrine excretion was not correlated with anxiety (r = 0.10, p = .21) or with depression (r = 0.07, p = .39). Regression models, accounting for sex, age, body mass index, race, mean systolic ambulatory blood pressure, tobacco use, alcohol use, physical activity, and sleep efficiency confirmed that anxiety was associated with EPI24 excretion (p = .023) and that depressive symptoms were not (p = .54). CONCLUSIONS: Anxiety was associated with heightened sympathoadrenal activity, suggesting a biological pathway through which anxiety could increase CVD risk. Anxiety and depression may confer increased CVD risk via different mechanisms.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Paine, NJ; Watkins, LL; Blumenthal, JA; Kuhn, CM; Sherwood, A

Published Date

  • February 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 77 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 136 - 144

PubMed ID

  • 25647750

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5119914

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1534-7796

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000144


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States