PTSD in Patients With Heart Disease

Posted on March 21, 2016

Photo: flickr

A single-center study from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) found that as many as one in five adult patients had PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) symptoms, with about one in 10 patients having symptoms directly related to their heart condition. The researchers suggest that clinicians and caregivers need to be aware of possible PTSD symptoms, such as anxiety and depression, in their patients.

"Although the life expectancy of adults living with CHD (congenital heart disease) has improved, ongoing care may include multiple surgeries and procedures," said the study's senior author, Yuli Kim, M.D., a cardiologist at CHOP. "These patients remain at risk for both cardiac and non-cardiac effects of their chronic condition, and face unique life stressors that may place them at elevated risk for psychological stress."

The researchers also found two factors most strongly linked to PTSD in their patients: elevated depressive symptoms and the patient's most recent cardiac surgery. Patients who had undergone cardiac surgery at an earlier year were more likely to have PTSD. This finding may reflect recent medical and surgical advances that lessen traumatic impacts, or alternatively, a "residual stress" explanation--that traumatic stress produces chronic, lasting effects.


Category(s):Health / Illness / Medical Issues, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) / Trauma / Complex PTSD

Source material from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia


Mental Health News