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Volume 32, Nº 4, July and August 2019


DOI: http://www.dx.doi.org/10.5935/2359-4802.20190056


The Physical Activity Level, Body Composition and Diabetes Mellitus Influence the Association Between Depression and Hypertension in Community-Dwelling Elders

Carlos Geovane S. Araújo

Ivna Vidal Freire

Ícaro José Santos Ribeiro

Yanne Franca Montino

Cézar Augusto Casotti

Rafael Pereira


Background: Depression and hypertension are highly prevalent among elderly people. Although the relationship between these conditions is well recognized, however, the factors that may influence such association are not clearly understood.

Objective: To analyze the association between depression and hypertension in community-dwelling elders.

Methods: Two-hundred and thirty-one community-dwelling elders provided information regarding the following variables: sex, age, ethnicity, smoking habit, physical activity level (PA), body mass index (BMI) and diabetes mellitus (DM). These variables can potentially influence depression and hypertension, as well as its relationship. Screening for depression was made using the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). The presence of hypertension was defined based on self-reported data and/or the use of antihypertensive drugs. The logistic regression technique was applied, using hypertension as the dependent variable and depressive state as a predictive variable. Logistic regression was applied with and without adjustment for the potential intervening variables.

Results: The prevalence of depressive state and hypertension in the studied population was 14% and 59%, respectively. The association between depression and hypertension without adjustments was not significant (odds ratio [OR] = 2.28, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] = 0.98 - 5.32; p = 0.06). However, after adjusting for PA, BMI and DM, the strength of association between depression and hypertension significantly increased (OR = 3.08, 95%CI = 1.12 - 8.46; p = 0.03).

Conclusion: The association between depression and hypertension in the elderly is directly influenced by PA, BMI and DM. This finding may guide strategies to increase the adherence to a healthier lifestyle. (Int J Cardiovasc Sci. 2019;32(4):355-361)

Keywords: Aging, Mood Disorders; Hypertension; Diabetes Mellitus; Depression; Obesity, Sedentarism; Exercise; Independent Living; Lifestyle.