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1.  Anxiety and depression lowers blood pressure: 22-year follow-up of the population based HUNT study, Norway 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:601.
Background
For decades, symptoms of anxiety and depression have been included among psychological factors associated with development of hypertension. Although this has been questioned in recent studies, most findings have been based on a single assessment of mental distress at baseline. We examined these associations using repeated assessments of anxiety, depression and blood pressure.
Methods
Data on 17,410 men and women aged 20 to 67 participating in the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT) in Norway in 1984-86 were re-examined 11 and 22 years later. The main outcome was change in mean blood pressure (mm Hg) during follow-up.
Results
We found that a high symptom level score (≥80th percentile) of combined anxiety and depression at baseline, as compared to a lower symptom level, was associated with lower mean systolic (-0.67 mm Hg, p = 0.044) and diastolic (-0.25 mm Hg, p = 0.201) blood pressure at year 22. A high symptom level present at all three examinations was associated with a stronger decrease in mean systolic (-1.59 mm Hg, p = 0.004) and diastolic (-0.78 mm Hg, p = 0.019) blood pressure and with a 20% (p = 0.001) lower risk of developing hypertension (BP ≥140/90 mm Hg) at year 22. The associations were only slightly attenuated in multivariate analyses, with no evidence of a mediating effect of alteration in heart rate.
Conclusions
This study do not support previous hypothesis that emotional stress may be a cause of hypertension. Our findings indicate that symptoms of anxiety and depression are associated with decrease in blood pressure, particularly when a high symptom level can be detected over decades.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-601
PMCID: PMC3162525  PMID: 21797992
2.  Association of low blood pressure with anxiety and depression: the Nord‐Trøndelag Health Study 
Background
Low blood pressure has mainly been regarded as ideal, but recent studies have indicated an association with depression in elderly people.
Objective
To investigate whether low blood pressure is associated with anxiety and depression in the general population.
Design
Cross‐sectional study.
Setting
Participants in the population‐based Nord‐Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT‐2, 1995–7), Norway.
Participants
60 799 men and women aged 20–89 years filled in the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale as part of a general health study. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure was classified in age‐stratified and sex‐stratified centile groups.
Main results
Compared with participants with systolic blood pressure within the 41–60 centile (reference) group, the odds ratio for anxiety was 1.31 (95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.16 to 1.49), for depression 1.22 (95% CI 1.03 to 1.46), and for comorbid anxiety and depression 1.44 (95% CI 1.24 to 1.68) in the group with ⩽5 centile systolic blood pressure. Slightly weaker associations were found of low diastolic blood pressure with anxiety and depression. These associations were similar across sex and age groups. Physical impairment, smoking and angina pectoris influenced the associations only marginally, whereas stroke, myocardial infarction, use of drugs for hypertension, body mass index and several other covariates had no influence.
Conclusions
This study represents epidemiological evidence for an association of low blood pressure with anxiety and depression, which is not caused by cardiovascular disease.
doi:10.1136/jech.2005.044966
PMCID: PMC2465598  PMID: 17183016
3.  Age-specific prevalence of the metabolic syndrome defined by the International Diabetes Federation and the National Cholesterol Education Program: the Norwegian HUNT 2 study 
BMC Public Health  2007;7:220.
Background
The 2005 International Diabetes Federation (IDF) definition of the metabolic syndrome was designed to be useful worldwide, but to date few prevalence studies have used that definition in European populations. We estimated the age- and sex-stratified prevalence of IDF-defined metabolic syndrome in a county of Norway and compared it with the prevalence estimated using the revised National Cholesterol Education Program-Adult Treatment Panel-III definition (2005 ATP III).
Methods
Cross-sectional analysis of 10,206 participants aged 20–89 years in the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study 1995–97 (HUNT 2).
Results
Prevalence of IDF-defined metabolic syndrome was 29.6% (95% CI: 28.8 to 30.5), compared to 25.9% (95% CI: 25.0 to 26.7) using the 2005 ATP III criteria. The prevalence of IDF-defined metabolic syndrome increased from 11.0% in the 20–29 years age group to 47.2% in the 80–89 years group in men, and from 9.2% to 64.4% for women in the corresponding age groups. Among men and women aged ≥60 years, the IDF criteria classified 56.7% and 75.0%, respectively, as having central obesity, and 89.3% and 90.9%, respectively, as being hypertensive.
Conclusion
According to both definitions, the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome increased strongly with age. The IDF and the American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute guidelines for clinical management of metabolic syndrome would classify a high proportion of elderly Norwegians as in need of overall risk assessment for cardiovascular disease.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-220
PMCID: PMC2048947  PMID: 17727697

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