Lower Frequency of Antidepressant Use in Patients on Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System Modifying Medications
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- Nasr, S.J., Crayton, J.W., Agarwal, B. et al. Cell Mol Neurobiol (2011) 31: 615. doi:10.1007/s10571-011-9656-7
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Both hypertension and depression are common disorders which may both involve components of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis system and the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System (RAAS). These observations, coupled with growing evidence that RAAS-active drugs may have anti-depressant properties prompted us to study the frequency of anti-depressant medication usage in the patients receiving RAAS-active agents. A chart review was performed on 378 patients who were seen during a 3-month period in a primary care clinic and who were diagnosed with hypertension. Demographic information and data on the rates of co-administration of antihypertensive and anti-depressant medications was collected. Overall, 23.7% of the sample was on an antidepressant. 20% of the patients taking a RAAS-modifying medication were on an antidepressant, compared to 34% of those not taking a RAAS-modifying medication (Χ2 = 8.88, P = 0.003). The patients taking a beta-blocker alone had the highest rate of antidepressant usage (40%). The use of RAAS-modifying medications was associated with an even lower rate of anti-depressant usage in males compared with females. It was also observed that the patients taking an additional diuretic had a significantly lower rate of antidepressant use (17.6%, Χ2 = 5.81, P = 0.016) compared with the patients not taking a diuretic. The patients being treated with an ACE inhibitor or ARB showed significantly lower rates of antidepressant usage. The data is supportive of the hypothesis that these agents may possess anti-depressant effects.