Background Recent guidelines on cardiovascular disease prevention advocate the importance of psychological risk factors, as they contribute to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. However, most previous research on psychological distress and cardiovascular factors has focused on selected populations with cardiovascular disease. Aim The primary aim was to determine the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and Type D personality in elderly primary care patients with hypertension. Secondary aim was to examine the relation between elevated systolic blood pressure and depression, anxiety, and Type D personality. Design and Setting A cross-sectional study in primary care practices located in the south of the Netherlands. Method Primary care hypertension patients (N =605), between 60 and 85 years (45 % men, mean age=70±6.6), were recruited for this study. All patients underwent a structured interview including validated self-report questionnaires to assess depression (PHQ-9), anxiety (GAD-7), and Type D personality (DS14) as well as blood pressure assessment. Results and Conclusion Depression was prevalent in 5 %, anxiety in 5 %, and Type D personality in 8 %. None of the distress measures were associated with elevated systolic blood pressure of >160 mmHg (all p-values >0.05). This study showed no relation between psychological distress and elevated systolic blood pressure in elderly primary care patients with hypertension.

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Netherlands Heart Journal
Department of Cardiology

Ringoir, L., Pedersen, S., Widdershoven, J., & Pop, V. (2014). Prevalence of psychological distress in elderly hypertension patients in primary care. Netherlands Heart Journal, 22(2), 71–76. doi:10.1007/s12471-013-0502-z