PTSD increases the risk of cancer and heart disease
A new study has identified a link between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and cardiovascular disease. The researchers also found that PTSD was associated with cancer and metabolic syndrome.
The investigation was focused on 84 individuals who were diagnosed with PTSD as a result of terrorist attacks and other traumatic events.
The study revealed that males were more likely to have circulatory and metabolic complications, while females were more prone to benign and malignant cancers.
Individuals who had a longer duration of PTSD were more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, and PTSD following terrorist attacks was linked to a higher cancer prevalence.
Dr. Andrea Pozza of the Scotte University Hospital in Italy is one of the study’s authors.
“An explanation of why victims of terrorism may have a higher cancer prevalence than victims of other traumatic events, such as accidents, may be the intentional infliction of harm on the victim causing a more dysregulated stress response. A challenge for the future is monitoring the physical health of victims over time and understanding psychological and neurobiological processes producing this effect,” said Dr. Pozza.
“Longer untreated PTSD was associated with higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease regardless of the event type: this suggests the importance of early intervention for PTSD and also education programs for the general population to make people aware about PTSD early warning signs and how to recognize them.”
The study is published in the Journal of Neuroscience Research.