Mental health is often overlooked. However, the state of one’s mental health is important. In a 2014 data report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), they revealed that every year, about 42.5 million American adults suffer from some form of mental illness. Find out how mental illness can lead to other concerns and how HIV-infected individuals with depression are at risk for heart attack.


Depression is a condition that leaves many feeling sad, unmotivated, and irritable. It is also known to contribute to debilitating conditions such as insomnia, fatigue, pain, and other problems. The illness can also lead to suicide, other mental disorders, and more importantly, heart disease.

The Rise of Cardiovascular Disease

According to a study published by JAMA Cardiology, those with major depressive disorder (MDD) and HIV are more likely to experience a heart attack than those without the mental disorder.

They examined 26,144 veterans with HIV and found that 4,853 of them had depression. Most of the veterans with depression were around 47 years of age. Researchers met with these veterans more than 5 years later, and discovered that 490 of them had an acute myocardial infarction during that time span.

After further research, they determined that those with depression and HIV were 25 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those without depression.

HIV patients are forced to deal with a life-threating condition every day. This could be the reason for their depression. Other cause factors include personal issues, substance abuse, and non-psychiatric illnesses.

According to the CDC, more than 1 out of 20 Americans 12 years of age and older reported current depression. Some mental health facilities try to help those with emotional disorders, however, it is not an illness that can be easily cured. Hopefully, scientists can make HIV easily treatable and less of an emotionally draining experience.