Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

University Of Florida Researchers: Stress Can Hasten Progression Of HIV

Date:
August 7, 1997
Source:
University Of Florida
Summary:
For every severe stress a patient reported in a six-month period, the risk of early disease progression doubled.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

By Melanie Fridl Ross

GAINESVILLE, Fla.---Stress can accelerate the progression of the early stages of HIV disease, report researchers from the University of Florida and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In fact, for every severe stress a patient reported in a six-month period, the risk of early disease progression doubled. And among those tracked for at least two years, higher severe life stress increased the odds of developing HIV disease progression nearly fourfold, researchers wrote in the June issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry. While other studies have suggested stress and depression can alter the body's ability to fight off illness, few have rigorously examined the role of emotional factors in the onset and course of immune-based diseases such as cancer and AIDS, says Dr. John M. Petitto, associate professor of psychiatry, neuroscience and pharmacology at UF's College of Medicine and the UF Brain Institute. "This study provides among the first evidence that severe life stress increases the likelihood and severity of early HIV disease progression," Petitto said. Researchers studied 93 homosexual men, ages 18 to 51, who tested positive for HIV but showed no symptoms of the disease when they entered the trial. They were recruited from rural and urban areas of North Carolina through state health departments, advertisements in gay publications and gay organizations, and word of mouth. To be eligible for the study, they could have no previous intravenous drug use as a risk factor for HIV, could not drink heavily or use recreational drugs and could not be taking medications affecting the immune system, such as antibiotics. Participants, who were studied up to 42 months, were asked about more than 100 possible stresses at six-month intervals, including death of a mate, arrest, trouble with a boss, chronic financial difficulties or breakup of a love relationship. Researchers then assigned a "degree of threat" to the stress; in other words, the unpleasantness and uncertainty most people would experience given the same circumstances. For example, the long-term stress associated with the breakup of a committed relationship was based on the length of time the two were together, whether the patient lived with the person, whether the patient had control over the decision and other extenuating circumstances. In addition, to eliminate the chance that the stress of worsening disease might have influenced disease progression, researchers excluded disease-related stresses such as the onset of symptoms of AIDS-related complex, job loss due to dementia or a mate leaving because the disease worsened. The study showed that only severe stress had an influence; levels of stress common to everyday living did not seem to play a role in disease progression, Petitto said. Because HIV progresses at varying rates among patients, showing that stress can influence the course of illness could have implications for treatment, he said. "If we are able to identify factors that account for this disparity, that information could someday have implications for the treatment of HIV-infected individuals," Petitto said. "Further studies are required to shed light on the potential immune or other biological factors that may underlie the relationship between stress and disease progression."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Recent UF Health Science Center news releases also are available on the UF Health Science Center Communications home page. Point your browser to http://www.vpha.health.ufl.edu/hscc/index.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Florida. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Florida. "University Of Florida Researchers: Stress Can Hasten Progression Of HIV." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 August 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/08/970807112139.htm>.
University Of Florida. (1997, August 7). University Of Florida Researchers: Stress Can Hasten Progression Of HIV. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/08/970807112139.htm
University Of Florida. "University Of Florida Researchers: Stress Can Hasten Progression Of HIV." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/08/970807112139.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins