Relationship between low blood pressure and depressive symptomatology in older people

Christine A. Stroup-Benham, Kyriakos S. Markides, Sandra A. Black, James S. Goodwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To determine if low blood pressure is associated with a definable constellation of somatic and psychological symptoms in older persons. DESIGN: A population-based study. SETTING: In-home interviews in five southwestern states. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 2723 Mexican Americans aged 65 or older not living in institutions. MEASURES: Blood pressure, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), global self-rating of health, and self-esteem. RESULTS: Bivariate analyses indicate a significant relationship between low blood pressure and increased depressive symptomatology; for example, systolic hypotensive subjects scored a CES-D mean of 12.07 ± .67 compared to 8.99 ± .95 for normotensives (P < .01). Regression analyses supported these findings when controlling for confounders such as gender, age, and use of antihypertensive medications. Subjects with low blood pressure also scored lower on self-esteem and global self-reported health and reported more days waking up feeling tired. CONCLUSIONS: These data support the existence of a relationship between low blood pressure and higher levels of depressive symptomatology as well as a constellation of somatic and psychosocial symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-255
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2000


  • Blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Hispanics
  • Hypotension
  • Mexican Americans
  • Older persons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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