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Health Agencies Update
February 28, 2007

PTSD Linked to Heart Disease

JAMA. 2007;297(8):799. doi:10.1001/jama.297.8.799-c

A study of about 2000 male veterans participating in the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study has found that those with symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are more likely to develop coronary heart disease (Kubsansky LD et al. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2007;64:109-116).

The study included only men without preexisting coronary heart disease with follow-up for more than a decade. Symptoms of PTSD levels were measured using the Mississippi Scale for Combat-Related PTSD in 1002 of the men, and 944 of the men were assessed with the Keane PTSD scale. For each SD increase in symptom level, the men tested using the Mississippi Scale had an age-adjusted relative risk of 1.26 (95% confidence interval, 1.05-1.51) for nonfatal myocardial infarction and fatal coronary heart disease combined and a relative risk of 1.21 (95% confidence interval, 1.05-1.41) for all coronary heart disease outcomes. The results were replicated in the cohort using the Keane scale and were strengthened by controlling for depressive symptoms.

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