Impacts of Anxiety and Depression on Clinical Hypertension in Low-Income US Adults

Rohan M. Shah, Sahil Doshi, Sareena Shah, Shiv Patel, Angela Li, Joseph A. Diamond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Depression and anxiety are common leading causes of disability and are associated with systemic effects including cardiovascular comorbidities. Low-income populations may experience higher frequencies of depressive or anxiety-related symptoms, and be at greater risk for developing hypertension. Aim: We performed a cross-sectional study of low-income participants who completed hypertension and disability questionnaires as part of the 2017–2018 cycle of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to identify associations between depressive/anxiety-related symptoms and hypertension status. Methods: Multivariable logistic regressions were performed to identify whether (1) frequency of depressive symptoms, (2) frequency of anxiety-related symptoms, (3) self-reported depression medication use, or (4) self-reported anxiety medication use predicted previous hypertension diagnosis. Results: A total of 74,285,160 individuals were represented in our cohort. Participants that reported taking depression (OR 2.72; 95% CI 1.41–5.24; P = 0.009) and anxiety (OR 2.50; 95% CI 1.42–4.41; P = 0.006) medications had greater odds of hypertension. Individuals with depressive feelings daily, monthly, and few times per year were more likely to have hypertension. Respondents with daily (OR 2.28; 95% CI 1.22–4.24; P = 0.021) and weekly (OR 1.88; 95% CI 1.05–3.38; P = 0.040) anxiety symptoms were more likely to have hypertension. Conclusions: Low-income adults in the United States with symptoms of anxiety or depression have higher likelihood of hypertension than those with no symptoms. Respondents who indicated taking medication for anxiety disorders or depression were more likely to have been diagnosed with hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-342
Number of pages6
JournalHigh Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Prevention
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hypertension
  • Mental health
  • Social determinants of health


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