Major depressive and bipolar disorders predispose to atherosclerosis, and there is accruing data from animal model, epidemiological, and genomic studies that commonly used antihypertensive drugs may have a role in the pathogenesis or course of mood disorders. In this study, we propose to determine whether antihypertensive drugs have an impact on mood disorders through the analysis of patients on monotherapy with different classes of antihypertensive drugs from a large hospital database of 525 046 patients with follow-up for 5 years. There were 144 066 eligible patients fulfilling the inclusion criteria: age 40 to 80 years old at time of antihypertensive prescription and medication exposure >90 days. The burden of comorbidity assessed by Charlson and Elixhauser scores showed an independent linear association with mood disorder diagnosis. The median time to hospital admission with mood disorder was 847 days for the 299 admissions (641 685 person-years of follow-up). Patients on angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers had the lowest risk for mood disorder admissions, and compared with this group, those on β-blockers (hazard ratio=2.11; [95% confidence interval, 1.12–3.98]; P=0.02) and calcium antagonists (2.28 [95% confidence interval, 1.13–4.58]; P=0.02) showed higher risk, whereas those on no antihypertensives (1.63 [95% confidence interval, 0.94–2.82]; P=0.08) and thiazide diuretics (1.56 [95% confidence interval, 0.65–3.73]; P=0.32) showed no significant difference. Overall, our exploratory findings suggest possible differential effects of antihypertensive medications on mood that merits further study: calcium antagonists and β-blockers may be associated with increased risk, whereas angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers may be associated with a decreased risk of mood disorders
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