The evidence linking essential systemic arterial hypertension (SAH) with psychological characteristics remains equivocal. The aims of this study were to assess clinical and subclinical distress, psychosocial aspects and psychological well-being in treated hypertensive patients and to evaluate the psychosocial variables associated with higher levels of blood pressure according to guidelines for hypertension management. A consecutive series of 125 hypertensive patients were evaluated using both self- and observer-rated reliable measures. Generalized anxiety disorder, minor depression, demoralization and alexithymia were the most frequent diagnoses. Cluster analysis revealed an association of three distinct symptomatological groups such as the Anxiety-Depression, the Alexithymia and the Somatization groups, with different levels of hypertension. In particular, patients with moderate to severe hypertension were more frequently in the Anxiety-Depression and the Alexithymia groups, whereas the Somatization cluster has been shown to be associated with isolated systolic hypertension. The results provide new insight into the psychosocial characteristics among patients with different levels of SAH according to recent guidelines of the management of hypertension. They also outline the need to monitor the clinical course of hypertensive patients characterized by these specific clinical and subclinical psychological conditions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry