PTSD linked to heart problems

31st May 2011

People with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are more likely to develop heart problems are die prematurely, according to a new study.

Research by a team at the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Administration Medical Center found that individuals with PTSD were more at risk from coronary artery disease, which sees plaque accumulating in the arteries leading to the heart.

Over the course of the study, the researchers studied a number of veterans with heart disease and found that those with PTSD were more likely to have a further advanced form of the condition.

While the team concluded that more research is needed to confirm if PTSD does cause heart disease, it was noted that treating the disorder as a purely mental one is not enough.

"PTSD is associated with presence and severity of coronary atherosclerosis and predicts mortality independent of age, gender, and conventional risk factors," the researchers stated.

According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, PTSD can be triggered by any traumatic event.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

1. Naser Ahmadi, MD, MS, Fereshteh Hajsadeghi, MD, Hormoz B. Mirshkarlo, MD, Matthew Budoff, MD, Rachel Yehuda, PhD, Ramin Ebrahimi, MD, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Coronary Atherosclerosis, and Mortality, American Journal of Cardiology, May 2011

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