Updated: Oct 14, 2022
Hi all! As we honor those who served today on Veterans Day, I thought I'd share a study I've discovered regarding veterans with PTSD, and their respective higher risk of early stroke.
According to a study done by Reuters Health, young adults who develop PTSD may be more likely to have a stroke by the time they are middle-aged. The study followed almost 1 million young and middle-aged veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan for more than a decade, starting when they were 30 years old, on average, and had no history of stroke. Overall, 29% had been diagnosed with PTSD. During the study, 766 people had a transient ischemic attack, or brief "mini-stroke," and another 1,877 people had a stroke. This shows that veterans with PTSD were 61% more likely than other to have a mini-stroke, and 36% more likely to have a stroke.
While PTSD has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease and stroke in older adults, this is he first study to show a link between trauma-induced stress disorders and the risk of stroke and mini-strokes in young and middle-aged adults. Even after accounting for behaviors that can raise stroke risk, like smoking, getting little exercise, and substance abuse, researchers still found an increased stroke risk associated with PTSD.
Thank you for reading, and make sure to thank the veterans in your community for their service!