Decoding the relationship between PTSD and heart disease

Research Update: The effect of emotional trauma on the heart


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Emotional trauma isn’t only about the mind – it also manifests physically in the body, especially in the heart. Many studies over the past quarter-century explain the connection between chronic PTSD and a higher risk for heart disease. One research study explicitly links trauma and poor physical health, and even suggests that PTSD may be a precursor to cardiovascular disease. Other study findings included:

  • The plausible association between physical and mental health through EKG scans during physical activity.
  • Also employing imaging tests, this study analyzed heart health between twins. They found cardiovascular disease to be twice as common among the twins with PTSD than those without.

While it’s not clear how exactly PTSD leads to heart disease, most experts believe it’s a combination of biological, behavioral, and psychological factors.

If you’re a health care professional passionate about cardiovascular health or a mental health professional interested in studying the effects of PTSD, consider bringing your skills to VA. There are several ways to use your talents to improve the health of our Veterans. Cardiology physicians at VA provide top level care for Veterans to take preventative measures and willfully fight against heart disease. And VA Researchers advance science forward, uncovering discoveries to create treatments and provide hope for our Veterans.

 

Discover what you and VA can do together in the fight against heart disease. Search career opportunities in your area today.

To view the full list of occupations exempt from the 2017 federal hiring freeze, click here.

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Comments

  1. Ronald Mirenda    

    What if your a service connected PTSD patient with an unknown heart defect (at discharge from service) and it is discovered to be exacerbated after PTSD diagnosis? Resulting in OHS and chronic pericarditis?

    And soon to be a FNP graduate?

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