The July issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports that one out of every eight American patients experiencing a myocardial infarction (MI) will subsequently develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Typically, PTSD is considered to result from exposure to disturbing situations such as combat, sexual assault, and disasters. However, researchers from the Columbia University Medical Centre in New York, NY found that the psychological effects resulting from an MI or other cardiac events can also produce clinical symptoms of PTSD such as recurring intrusive thoughts, nightmares, increased heart rate and blood pressure and avoidance of event triggers.
Not only is PTSD am emotional burden to the patients experiencing symptoms, researchers also found that it doubles the risk of having a second acute cardiac event, and even death within one to three years, as compared to patients who did not develop PTSD.
To read the JAMA online abstract, “Study: Acute Coronary Events Linked with PTSD”, go to www.jamanetwork.com.