Can chronic depression increase heart disease risk for women with HIV?

Can chronic depression increase heart disease risk for women with HIV? We see a lot of disorders named in the above single heading itself. It shows how one disease can be related to another disease and how various aspects of your life can play a major role in your health. But you need not panic because the following article will truly help you in practicing further necessary precautions and steps required for your safety. It would also help us know about the importance of kindness and humanity in the world.

Link between cardiac risk and persistent depression

Haven’t we heard of heart problems due to stress? We all need to know the major factor leading to heart problems such as heart attacks and heart strokes is the plaque in the arteries. A new study shows that females with HIV who keep on expressing a very high level of stress or chronic depression for longer periods are more likely to suffer from building up of plaque in their arteries than others. The high level of stress or depression was indicated when compared with the others who did not have any symptoms or had fewer symptoms.


The same findings were also found in the study, which was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. More than half of the females who accounted for having depression, stress, and HIV had a plaque in arteries. It was found out through the study of 700 females. It consisted of both who have HIV and those who do not have HIV and coronary heart disease. It is necessary to include women with and without HIV because that is what lets us compare these two groups. And it further enhances the clarity of the findings.


Further, it was found that the plaques continued increasing when the symptoms of depression continued for a long time. There was similarity found in the building up of plaque in people without HIV and those with high levels of stress or depression.


The females with HIV are at higher risk of atherosclerosis or the building up of plaque in the arteries. As we have already known that building up of plaque in arteries or atherosclerosis has its prime contribution to heart problems, people with HIV are thrice more probable at risk of developing atherosclerosis and heart problems or cardiovascular ailments in comparison with those who do not have HIV.


We all commonly have come across the research finding that the risk of heart ailments is equal across males and females who suffer from HIV. It is what Matthew Levy points out too. But what he adds further is more important. He says that the increased heart disease risk for women is the same in men with HIV, and there is no relation to it with aspects of mental health such as depression or stress. It is where the importance of this current study comes up.


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Necessary change!

He says that now that we know from the current study that mental disorders play a role in increasing the risk of HIV. It becomes necessary for the healthcare providers to look for symptoms of mental issues and increased heart failure causes, and suggest that they get their symptoms treated from mental health professionals if required so that they are treated accordingly.


But can we think of the effect being the cause of it? That is, the decrease of stress leading to fewer heart problems. It is where the critical thinking of Levy is seen when he mentions his interest in studying through research in the future whether the lessening of symptoms of stress or depressions leads to a decreased risk of heart problems or not.


Broaden your approach!

Don’t you think that there are other aspects as well for depression in women with HIV except for atherosclerosis? Other factors increase their struggle with HIV by adding to mental issues such as depression and stress. Indeed, social factors, such as facing discrimination and sexual abuse. These might be because they belong to the lower strata of society. Discrimination can be based on gender or race. They are also prey to domestic abuse. He further mentions that they are also treated as insignificant in society. Levy says that all social aspects are very much there in the females who have HIV.


As you might rightly think, all these broader factors included in their social surroundings tell us a lot about the individual compared to only the study of whatever is going on in their body. It is what is told to us by Dr. Matthew Feinstein. He also points at the clear understanding of mental issues, having played a major role in it.


Hence it becomes important to consider the whole surrounding in which the patient resides. He also adds to the clinicians’ need to extend their helping hand not only in medical terms but in all the aspects according to their requirements.


Message to all of us!

Hasn’t this study in can chronic depression increases heart disease risk for women with HIV has truly led to prevent depressive disorder leading to other disorders? Not even the medical professionals but also we, as laymen, need to introspect regarding the treatment that we give to other individuals. We have seen how it affects their mental health as well as physical health. Hence, we must support individuals who are treated inferior based on their race or gender. We need to raise our voices against their mistreatment and abuse.


When we change our mindsets and implement the change along with the clinicians, only then would it be possible to decrease the persistent depression or stress in women with HIV. If the research in the future concludes that lowering the symptoms of stress or depression will lead to a decreased risk of heart ailments, we, as a layman, will be directly contributing to their well being or ill-effects of our treatment on them.


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