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A Study of Orthostatic Hypotension in Late-Life Depression

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Fiona Shaw, Professor Rose Anne Kenny, Professor John O'Brien, Professor Alan ThomasORCiD


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Objective: Studies examining vascular risk factors in depression report conflicting evidence but have not assessed orthostatic hypotension, a recently recognized risk factor for white matter hyperintensities. Method: The authors used noninvasive phasic orthostatic blood pressure monitoring to assess orthostatic hypotension in 17 subjects with late-life major depression and 17 comparison subjects. All received a neuropsychiatric assessment and standardized cardiovascular assessment. Results: The authors found a higher proportion of subjects met standard criteria for orthostatic hypotension in the depressed group (94% versus 65%, X = 4.5, df = 1, p = 0.034), and the degree of systolic blood pressure drop on standing was highly significantly greater in this group (t = 4.02, df = 32, p < 0.001; mean drop of 46 mm Hg). Depressed subjects also experienced more clinical symptoms consistent with orthostatic hypotension. Conclusions: Our findings suggest orthostatic hypotension may be an important factor in explaining the absence of an excess of clinically determined vascular risk factors in late-life depression. (Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 2009; 17: 996-999)

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kenny RA; O'Brien JT; Shaw F; Thomas AJ; Richardson J; Kerr SRJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

Year: 2009

Volume: 17

Issue: 11

Pages: 996-999

ISSN (print): 1064-7481

ISSN (electronic): 1545-7214

Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


DOI: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181b4bf35


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