PTSD strikes one in eight heart attack patients

PTSD Strikes One in Eight Heart AttacksPTSD – posttraumatic stress disorder – usually is associated with military personnel traumatized by combat or people who’ve been victimized by violent crime or sexual assaults.

But new study finds that one in eight patients develop PTSD after experiencing a heart attack or other major heart event. The study, published online in PLoS One, also reveals that heart patients who experience PTSD face double the risk for another heart event or dying within one to three years, compared to heart patients who do not experience PTSD.

Scientists from Columbia University Medical Center performed the first metanalysis of studies examining PTSD induced by major heart events. The studies included almost 2,400 patients who experienced acute coronary syndrome or ACS, an umbrella term medical professionals use to describe any condition that reduces blood flow to the heart, including heart attacks and unstable angina.

“Everybody is expected to have some disruption after a life threatening event such as a heart attack,” explained lead study author Donald Edmondson, assistant professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, “ but after a month we expect people to mostly get back to normal.” Edmondson said their research focused on studies of patients who experienced symptoms of PTSD more than one months after their heart event.

Full story of PTSD at CNN Health

Photos courtesy of and copyright stock.xchng,

Published by

Will Savage

Quantum Units Continuing Education provides online CEU training's to licensed professional mental health therapists, counselors, social workers and nurses. Our blog provides updates in the field of news and research related to mental health and substance abuse treatment.