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Increased risk of depression in non-depressed HIV infected men with sleep disturbance: Prospective findings from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study



Sleep disturbance is a known risk factor for depression, but it is not known whether sleep disturbance contributes to greater risk of depression in those infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV+) as compared to those uninfected with HIV (HIV-).


Using data from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, a population-based prospective study of men who have sex with men (MSM), self-reported sleep disturbance (>2 weeks) and depressive symptoms (Clinical Epidemiologic Scale for Depression, CES-D) were assessed every 6 months over 12 years of follow-up. Adjusted mixed effects logistic regression analyses tested whether sleep disturbance predicted depression (CES-D ≥ 16) at the immediate subsequent visit, and so on over 12 years, in non-depressed HIV+(N = 1054; 9556 person-visits) and non-depressed HIV- (N = 1217; 12,680 person-visits). In HIV+ vs. HIV- MSM, linearly estimated average incidence of depression and normalized cumulative rate of depression over 12 years were compared.


In the HIV+ MSM, sleep disturbance was associated with a significant increase in depression 6 months later (OR = 1.6; 95% CI, 1.30, 1.96), which was significantly greater (P < .05) than in HIV- MSM (OR = 1.16; 95% CI, 0.94, 1.44). HIV status and sleep disturbance interacted (P < .001), such that incidence of depression and normalized cumulative rate of depression were greater in HIV+ with sleep disturbance than in HIV+ without sleep disturbance and HIV- groups (all P's < 0.001).


HIV+ persons who report sleep disturbance represent a high risk group to be monitored for depression, and possibly targeted for insomnia treatment to prevent depression. FUND: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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