The following is a summary of the “Adherence to prescribed antihypertensive medication among patients with depression in the United States” published in the December 2022 issue of Psychiatry by Liu et al.

Patients with hypertension and depression do worse than those with only hypertension. In addition, hypertension patients’ adherence to treatment may be hampered by depression. Those who participated in the 2005-2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and had a history of hypertension are included in this analysis. Adherence to prescribed medication meant taking pills at the prescribed times. The patient health questionnaire (PHQ)-9 was used to evaluate levels of depression.

The total number of respondents that participated in the study was 9,128. The unadjusted analyses showed that both depression and depression scores were linked to medication adherence (odds ratio [OR]: 1.48, 95% CI: 1.26 to 1.75) and medication adherence (OR: 1.04 per each point increment, 1.03 to 1.05). In addition, there were statistically significant associations between depression score and medication adherence (aOR: 1.02 for each point rise, 1.00 to 1.03, P<0.05), but there was no statistically significant correlation between depression and medication adherence (P> 0.05). 

After accounting for socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, statistically significant associations remained between sex, age, body mass index (BMI), race, marital status, health insurance and medication adherence. Hypertensive patients with depression were found to have a weaker association with medication adherence, and this relationship strengthened with the severity of the patients’ depression. Furthermore, socioeconomic/demographic characteristics such as sex, age, BMI, race, marital status, and health insurance have an independent impact on drug adherence.