Navy Times reports – “Post-traumatic stress disorder appears to be linked to heart disease, according to a study published Wednesday by Emory University scientists.
Tracking the health of 562 male twins who served in Vietnam, researchers found that those with PTSD were more than twice as likely to develop heart disease as those who didn’t have the disorder.
The study didn’t explain why, but it did indicate that those with PTSD had overall poorer physical health even when researchers accounted for different lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking and physical activity.
“This study provides further evidence that PTSD may affect physical health,” said Dr. Gary Gibbons, director of the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
“This has illuminated the whole idea of stress and heart disease. While this notion has been popularly accepted — that stress is related to heart disease — it’s been hard to study. We now think those with PTSD may be at increased risk for long-term vascular events,” said Dr. Viola Vaccarino, chairwoman of the epidemiology department at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health.
The researchers followed for 13 years the heart health of 340 identical and 222 fraternal twins who deployed to Vietnam. Heart disease was found in nearly 23 percent of those who had PTSD but in only 9 percent of those who did not have the condition.”
Read full article here: http://www.navytimes.com/article/20130626/BENEFITS06/306260018/Study-links-PTSD-heart-disease
Food for thought: As a female veteran who suffers from PTSD, I think this study should be approached from a different angle. Pharmaceutical medication is not always the best cure.
When we train our young men, to mentally prepare them for war, we are desensitizing them from their natural feelings or emotions. They will pretty much become numb.
After the adrenaline rush from being in a combat situation wears off, the mind becomes naturally reconnected to other senses in the body, which will emotionally trigger a response from the heart.