Comorbid hypertension in patients with major depressive disorder – Results from a European multicenter study

Gernot Fugger, Markus Dold, Lucie Bartova, Alexander Kautzky, Daniel Souery, Julien Mendlewicz, Alessandro Serretti, Joseph Zohar, Stuart Montgomery, Richard Frey, Siegfried Kasper*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of the present multicenter study was to elucidate relevant associations between major depressive disorder (MDD) and comorbid hypertension that are known for their frequent co-occurrence and interaction with regard to functional disability. Demographic and clinical information of altogether 1410 patients were retrieved cross-sectionally. Consecutively, a comparison of patient characteristics between MDD subjects with and without comorbid hypertension were conducted by descriptive statistics, analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) and binary logistic regression analyses. The point prevalence rate for comorbid hypertension was 18.9%. Patients with MDD+comorbid hypertension were significantly older, heavier, more likely to be in a relationship, inpatient and diagnosed with further comorbid chronic somatic diseases including heart disease, diabetes and thyroid dysfunction. In addition, individuals with MDD and comorbid hypertension exhibited a higher score at the Montgomery and Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) at onset of the current depressive episode. Melancholic features of depression showed a higher probability. The first line antidepressant treatment did not differ significantly between MDD subjects with versus without comorbid hypertension. Augmentation with pregabalin and combination with one additional antidepressant, however, were more common in the MDD+hypertension group. In conclusion, high blood pressure may influence illness severity and is associated with a distinct psychopathology in MDD patients. Patients with MDD and comorbid hypertension, that seems to be underdiagnosed in MDD patients compared to the general population, are subject to additional somatic diseases in almost 100 percent of the cases and hence, need to be screened and treated accordingly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)777-785
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical aspects
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression
  • Physical illness


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