HealthDay News — In US veterans with HIV infection, depressive symptoms are associated with a significantly increased risk for mortality, but depression is not, according to a study published online March 29 in HIV Medicine.

Kaku So-Armah, Ph.D., from Boston University, and colleagues used data from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (from baseline in April 2003 through September 2015) to assess the contribution of depression and depressive symptoms to mortality in adults with and without HIV.

The researchers found that depression was associated with mortality (hazard ratio, 1.04), but this association was modified by HIV status (interaction P-value = 0.02). Depression was significantly associated with mortality among veterans without HIV infection but not in those with HIV infection. Depressive symptoms were associated with mortality (hazard ratio, 1.16), but this association also was modified by HIV status (interaction P-value = 0.05). Depressive symptoms were significantly associated with mortality in veterans with HIV infection but not among those without HIV infection.

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“Our findings reinforce the need to assess and treat depressive symptoms and major depressive disorder in patients with and without HIV infection to potentially reduce mortality risk,” So-Armah said in a statement.

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