American Heart Association

American Heart Association

Source:

Ebrahimi R, et al. Abstract 314. Presented at: American Heart Association Scientific Sessions; Nov. 13-17, 2020 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Ebrahimi reports he is a speaker for Amarin and Novo Nordisk.
November 13, 2020
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PTSD predicts ischemic heart disease in female veterans

Source:

Ebrahimi R, et al. Abstract 314. Presented at: American Heart Association Scientific Sessions; Nov. 13-17, 2020 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Ebrahimi reports he is a speaker for Amarin and Novo Nordisk.
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Among female veterans, PTSD was an independent predictor of future ischemic heart disease, according to findings presented at the virtual American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.

Ramin Ebrahimi

“Previous research has linked PTSD to higher risks of ischemic heart disease, including heart attacks and heart pain or angina. However, most of those studies have been conducted in men,” Ramin Ebrahimi, MD, professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and director of interventional cardiovascular research and co-director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center, said in a press release. “PTSD occurs twice as frequently in women as in men, and rates are particularly high among women veterans. Women veterans are the fastest-growing group of patients within the VA health care system. And, despite being at high risk for many disorders including cardiovascular disorders, they have been understudied, underdiagnosed, undertreated and underrepresented in cardiovascular research.”

Various Veterans and Health Care Images
Source: Adobe Stock.

Using VA electronic medical records, the researchers compared 132,923 female veterans with PTSD with 265,846 female veterans without PTSD. Participants (mean age, 40 years) were matched based on age at index visit, year of index visit, number of visits before index visit, traditional CV risk factors, female-specific CV risk factors and mental and physical health conditions.

After propensity-score adjustment, PTSD was associated with elevated risk for ischemic heart disease (HR = 1.44; 95% CI, 1.38-1.5), according to the researchers.

In secondary analyses, elevated risk was highest in women with PTSD who were younger than 40 years (HR =1.72; 95% CI 1.55-1.93), of Black race or of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity.

“We were surprised by the magnitude of increased risk associated with PTSD in younger women, as current national guidelines do not recommend routine screening for cardiovascular disorders in women until the age of 45,” Ebrahimi said in the release. “Our results suggest that health care professionals should consider more routine and earlier screening for cardiovascular disorders in women with PTSD.”