#WorldHeartDay PTSD: The Enemy Of Your Heart
Most people are, at some point during their life, exposed to psychological trauma or stressful life events such as the death of a loved one, a diagnosis of life threatening illness, natural disasters, or violence.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the most severe and widely studied form of stress related disorder, characterised by re-experiencing, avoidance, negative cognitions and mood, and hyperarousal following the traumatic event. A recent study summarised the existing evidence on PTSD and cardiovascular consequences from 11 prospective cohort investigations, all of which suggested an elevated incidence of cardiovascular diseases among people with PTSD.

The relative risks of severe and acute cardiovascular events (for example, cardiac arrest) were found to be highest during the period adjacent to the diagnosis of a stress related disorder, indicating the first six months after diagnosis as a high risk time window. This association applies equally to men and women.

In this nationwide population based and sibling controlled study, researchers found that people with stress related disorders were at elevated risk of multiple types of cardiovascular disease, especially early onset ones (incident age less than 50). The relative risk elevation was independent of sex, familial background (including family history of cardiovascular disease), history of psychiatric/somatic diseases, and psychiatric comorbidity.

Source: https://www.bmj.com/content/365/bmj.l1255
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