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World J AIDS. 2011 Dec 1;1(4):139-145.

The Impact of Depressive Symptoms on Neuropsychological Performance Tests in HIV-Infected Individuals: A Study of the Hawaii Aging with HIV Cohort.

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Hawaii Center for AIDS, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, USA.



The frequency of neurocognitive impairment (NCI) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals remains high despite the availability of potent antiretroviral therapy (ART). The concurrence of depression among HIV-infected patients with NCI is common, especially among older individuals. Depression has been implicated as a risk factor for impaired neuropsychological performance (NP). This study explored the relationship between depressive symptoms and NP testing in HIV-infected individuals.


A cross-sectional analysis was performed within the Hawaii Aging with HIV Cohort, a large prospective study of cognition of older (50 or more years old) compared to younger (20 to 39 years old) HIV-infected individuals.


Two hundred and eighty-five HIV infected participants (157 older and 128 younger) were administered a battery of NP tests to measure performance in major cognitive domains. Depressive symptoms were measured using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). The rates of depressive symptoms and neuropsychological impairment were similar in older and younger groups. Multivariate analyses revealed depressive symptoms were associated with NP test impairment in the younger group. In the older group, depressive symptoms were not associated with NP.


This study suggests that depressive symptoms are associated with NP test impairment in younger HIV-infected individuals, but not in older individuals.

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