Myocardial infarction and post-traumatic stress disorder: frequency, outcome, and atherosclerotic mechanisms

Gander, Marie-Louise; von Känel, Roland (2006). Myocardial infarction and post-traumatic stress disorder: frequency, outcome, and atherosclerotic mechanisms. European journal of cardiovascular prevention & rehabilitation, 13(2), pp. 165-72. Los Angeles, Calif.: Sage 10.1097/01.hjr.0000214606.60995.46

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BACKGROUND: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may develop in the aftermath of an acute myocardial infarction (MI). Whether PTSD is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) is elusive. The biological mechanisms linking PTSD with atherosclerosis are unclear. DESIGN: A critical review of 31 studies in the English language pursuing three aims: (i) to estimate the prevalence of PTSD in post-MI patients; (ii) to investigate the association of PTSD with cardiovascular endpoints; and (iii) to search for low-grade systemic inflammatory changes in PTSD pertinent to atherosclerosis. METHODS: We located studies by PubMed electronic library search and through checking the bibliographies of these sources. RESULTS: The weighted prevalence of PTSD after MI was 14.7% (range 0-25%; a total of 13 studies and 827 post-MI patients). Two studies reported a prospective association between PTSD and an increased risk of cardiovascular readmission in post-MI patients and of cardiovascular mortality in combat veterans, respectively. In a total of 11 studies, patients with PTSD had increased rates of physician-rated and self-reported cardiovascular diseases. Various cytokines and C-reactive protein were investigated in a total of seven studies suggesting that PTSD confers a pro-inflammatory state. CONCLUSIONS: Increasing evidence suggests that PTSD specifically related to MI develops considerably frequently in post-MI patients. More research is needed in larger cohorts applying a population design to substantiate findings suggesting PTSD is an atherogenic risk factor and to understand better the suspected behavioural and biological mechanisms involved.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology > Centre of Competence for Psychosomatic Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

von Känel, Roland










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Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:47

Last Modified:

06 Dec 2013 13:42

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URI: (FactScience: 2697)

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