BACKGROUND: HIV infection and depression are each associated with increased ischemic stroke risk. Whether depression is a risk factor for stroke within the HIV population is unknown. METHODS AND RESULTS: We analyzed data on 106 333 (33 528 HIV-positive; 72 805 HIV-negative) people who were free of baseline cardiovascular disease from an observational cohort of HIV-positive people and matched uninfected veterans in care from April 1, 2003 through December 31, 2014. International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes from medical records were used to determine baseline depression and incident stroke. Depression occurred in 19.5% of HIVpositive people. After a median of 9.2 years of follow-up, stroke rates were highest among people with both HIV and depression and lowest among those with neither condition. In Cox proportional hazard models, depression was associated with an increased risk of stroke for HIV-positive people after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics and cerebrovascular risk factors (hazard ratio [HR], 1.18; 95% CI: 1.03-1.34; 0.014). The depression-stroke relationship was attenuated by alcohol use disorders, cocaine use, and baseline antidepressant use, and unaffected by combined antiretroviral therapy use or individual antiretroviral agents. A numerically higher HR of depression on stroke was found among those younger than 60 years. CONCLUSIONS: Depression is associated with an increased risk of stroke among HIV-positive people after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, traditional cerebrovascular risk factors, and HIV-specific factors. Alcohol use disorders, cocaine use, and baseline antidepressant use accounted for some of the observed stroke risk. Depression may be a novel, independent risk factor for ischemic stroke in HIV, particularly among younger people.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Combined antiretroviral therapy
- Ischemic stroke
- Stroke risk