Stress, depression linked to HPV-related health problems

April 30, 2016

New research to be highlighted at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 Meeting is the first to suggest that stress and depression play a significant role in whether a woman with human papillomavirus (HPV) can get rid of her infection or not. HPV that lingers in a woman's system eventually can lead to cervical cancer.

The study, "Psychosocial Stress, Maladaptive Coping and HPV Persistence," examined a group of 333 the researchers began following in 2000. The women were about 19 years old on average when they enrolled in the study. Throughout the study period, they came into the lab every six months so researchers could take a sample to test for HPV.

During the 11th year of the study, when the women were about 28 years old, participants also completed a questionnaire that asked about how much stress they had, how they coped with stress, and if they were depressed. The researchers compared their answers to whether the women had HPV persistence—meaning they still tested positive for the virus—or whether the infection had cleared. The body's immune system often fights off the virus within a couple years of exposure, the researchers said.

"Women who reported self-destructive coping strategies, like drinking, smoking cigarettes or taking drugs when stressed, were more likely to develop an active HPV infection," said principal investigator Anna-Barbara Moscicki, MD, FAAP, chief of the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine and professor of pediatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine. "We also found that women who were depressed or perceived themselves to have lots of stress were more likely to have HPV persistence," she said, adding that this study is the first to show these connections between stress and HPV persistence.

Research has long linked with , Dr. Moscicki said. Previous studies have shown it can lead to greater numbers of herpes virus outbreaks in those infected, for example, and worse medical outcomes among people with cancer. One theory is that stress may be related to abnormal immune responses, which she said these new research findings may support. Further studies are planned to determine whether cervical inflammatory markers are associated with stress.

Dr. Moscicki said the study suggests women with HPV infection should be advised that reduction may help them clear their infection, and that using drinking alcohol or may hamper their ability to clear the infections.

"HPV infections are the cause of cervical cancers. But HPV infections are extremely common, and only the few infections that continue years beyond initial infection are at risk of developing ," she said. "This is alarming since many of these women acquired their persistent infection as adolescents."

Explore further: HPV vaccine effective in youth with kidney disease, but less so in those with a kidney transplant

More information: www.abstracts2view.com/pas/vie … .php?nu=PAS16L1_5033

Related Stories

HPV vaccine effective in youth with kidney disease, but less so in those with a kidney transplant

April 7, 2016
Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination stimulates robust and sustained immune responses in girls and young women with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and those on dialysis, but less optimal responses to the vaccine were observed ...

Men face higher risk of cancers linked to oral sex

February 13, 2016
Men are twice as likely as women to get cancer of the mouth and throat linked to the human papillomavirus, or HPV, one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, researchers say.

Screening for HPV persistence and cervical cancer risk

September 6, 2011
Women over the age of thirty who test positive for HPV (Human Papillomavirus) should be re-tested two years later as part of cervical cancer screening, according to a study published online TK in the Journal of the National ...

Expand HPV vaccination programs in Canada to include males

April 25, 2016
Expanding human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programs to include males in Canada will help protect them against HPV-related cancers, according to an analysis published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Researchers publish on connection between anal cancer, HPV

February 17, 2016
Researchers at Women & Infants Hospital, a Care New England hospital, recently published the results of a study demonstrating a connection between anal cancer and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

Recommended for you

Higher blood sugar in early pregnancy raises baby's heart-defect risk

December 15, 2017
Higher blood sugar early in pregnancy raises the baby's risk of a congenital heart defect, even among mothers who do not have diabetes, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Injuries from window blinds send two children to the emergency department every day

December 11, 2017
Most homes have them. They help keep our rooms warm or cold and even add a pop of color to tie the décor together. But window blinds can cause serious injuries or even death to young children. A new study from the Center ...

Blood flow altered in brains of preterm newborns vs. full-term infants

December 4, 2017
Cerebral blood flow (CBF) of key regions of newborns' brains is altered in very premature infants and may provide an early warning sign of disturbed brain maturation well before such injury is visible on conventional imaging, ...

HPV vaccine is effective, safe 10 years after it's given

November 29, 2017
A decade of data on hundreds of boys and girls who received the HPV vaccine indicates the vaccine is safe and effective long term in protecting against the most virulent strains of the virus, researchers report.

Antibiotics administered during labor delay healthy gut bacteria in babies

November 28, 2017
Antibiotics administered during labour for Group B Streptococcus (GBS) affect the development of gut bacteria in babies, according to a study from McMaster University.

Stress in pregnancy linked to changes in infant's nervous system, less smiling, less resilience

November 23, 2017
Maternal stress during the second trimester of pregnancy may influence the nervous system of the developing child, both before and after birth, and may have subtle effects on temperament, resulting in less smiling and engagement, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.