Heart Attacks Can Trigger PTSD

By Angela Haupt

PTSD a Risk Among Heart Attack Patients

Heart Attacks Can Trigger Post-Traumatic StressHeart attacks can trigger post-traumatic stress disorder, new research suggests. As many as 1 in 8 people who survive a heart attack develop symptoms of PTSD, such as frequent nightmares or flashbacks; intrusive thoughts; and elevated blood pressure or heart rate. These symptoms also appear to increase the risk of having a second heart attack, according to findings published in the journal PLoS One. PTSD, an anxiety disorder that develops after a traumatic event involving the threat of injury or death, often affects soldiers returning home from war. A heart attack is a terrifying experience in its own right, the study authors say. “About 1.4 million people [in the United States] have heart attacks every year; that’s as many people as are in our entire active military,” study author Donald Edmondson, an assistant professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, told Time. “That feeling that your life is in danger — the loss of control when your body turns on you — is something that these people have a hard time forgetting.”

Source: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/06/21/health-buzz-heart-attacks-can-trigger-ptsd

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More courses on PTSD: http://www.pdresources.org/Courses/Other/Online/CourseID/1/ptsd