The association between hypertension and depression and anxiety disorders: results from a nationally-representative sample of South African adults.
OBJECTIVE:Growing evidence suggests high levels of comorbidity between hypertension and mental illness but there are few data from low- and middle-income countries. We examined the association between hypertension and depression and anxiety in South Africa. METHODS:Data come from a nationally-representative survey of adults (n = 4351). The Composite International Diagnostic Interview was used to measure DSM-IV mental disorders during the previous 12-months. The relationships between self-reported hypertension and anxiety disorders, depressive disorders and comorbid anxiety-depression were assessed after adjustment for participant characteristics including experience of trauma and other chronic physical conditions. RESULTS:Overall 16.7% reported a previous medical diagnosis of hypertension, and 8.1% and 4.9% were found to have a 12-month anxiety or depressive disorder, respectively. In adjusted analyses, hypertension diagnosis was associated with 12-month anxiety disorders [Odds ratio (OR) = 1.55, 95% Confidence interval (CI) = 1.10-2.18] but not 12-month depressive disorders or 12-month comorbid anxiety-depression. Hypertension in the absence of other chronic physical conditions was not associated with any of the 12-month mental health outcomes (p-values all <0.05), while being diagnosed with both hypertension and another chronic physical condition were associated with 12-month anxiety disorders (OR = 2.25, 95% CI = 1.46-3.45), but not 12-month depressive disorders or comorbid anxiety-depression. CONCLUSIONS:These are the first population-based estimates to demonstrate an association between hypertension and mental disorders in sub-Saharan Africa. Further investigation is needed into role of traumatic life events in the aetiology of hypertension as well as the temporality of the association between hypertension and mental disorders.
Grimsrud, A; Stein, DJ; Seedat, S; Williams, D; Myer, L
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)