Depressive Symptoms and Cervical Neoplasia in HIV+ Low-Income Minority Women with Human Papillomavirus Infection

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Prior work has related elevated life stress to greater risk of cervical neoplasia in women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and human papillomavirus (HPV).


This study investigated associations between depressive symptoms and cervical neoplasia in HIV+ HPV+ women. Participants were 58 HIV+ HPV+ women.


Participants underwent colposcopy, including HPV screening, Papanicolaou smear, and cervical biopsy to determine study eligibility. Eligible participants completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale.


Presence and severity of clinically significant depressive symptomatology were associated with cervical neoplasia. Hierarchical logistic regression analysis revealed that women with greater depressive symptoms had marginally greater odds of presenting with cervical neoplasia (BDI: OR = 1.16, p = 0.092; CES-D: OR = 1.15, p = 0.067. Women with greater somatic depressive symptoms, specifically, had significantly greater odds of presenting with cervical neoplasia (BDI: OR = 1.86, p = 0.027; CES-D: OR = 1.56, p = 0.017).


These findings suggest that screening HIV+ women for somatic depression may help identify those at risk for cervical neoplasia. Future depression research with medical populations should discern somatic depressive symptoms from disease symptoms, as they may have important value in independently predicting health outcomes.

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