Post-Traumatic Stress May Raise Death Risks

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Veterans with disorder more likely to die within a year of major surgery, study finds

From: US News and World Report

(HealthDay News) — Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder face an increased risk for dying after surgery, even if the surgery is performed years after they have completed their service, according to a U.S. study.

     

Researchers analyzed data on 1,792 male veterans who had major non-cardiac, non-emergency surgeries between 1998 and 2008. Of that group, 129 (7.8 percent) had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) before their surgery. 

Men with PTSD were an average of seven years younger than those without PTSD — 59 versus 66 years old — but were much more likely to have cardiac risk factors, the study noted.

One year after surgery, the death rate among men with PTSD was 25 percent higher than for those without PTSD — 8.5 percent versus 6.8 percent. After the researchers adjusted for age and preexisting medical conditions — including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking and depression — they found that veterans with PTSD were 2.2 times more likely to die within a year of surgery than those without PTSD.

The findings were scheduled to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, held Oct. 17 to 21 in New Orleans.

Read more at US News and World Report

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