PTSD Linked to Increased Complications and Death a Year After Cardiac Arrest

PTSD Linked to Increased Complications and Death a Year After Cardiac Arrest

DALLAS, TX--Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms may significantly increase cardiac arrest survivors’ risk of major cardiovascular events and death up to a year after the initial medical crisis, according to preliminary research to be presented in Chicago at the American Heart Association’s Resuscitation Science Symposium 2018 - an international conference highlighting the best in cardiovascular resuscitation research.

PTSD, which is common following cardiac arrest, was associated with a three-fold increased risk of death from any cause or a major heart event in a review of 114 patients who had been resuscitated after in-hospital or out-of-hospital cardiac arrest between 2015 and 2017.

Of 114 consecutive patients who survived with mild to moderate brain injury, 36 (31.6 percent) were diagnosed with cardiac-arrest-induced PTSD at discharge, which was an average of 21 days after the cardiac arrest. During the follow up of more than a year, 10 patients (8.8 percent) died and 29 (25.4 percent) experienced a recurrent major adverse cardiovascular event, such as rehospitalization due to heart attack, severe chest pain, heart failure or an emergency procedure to open clogged arteries or to implant a defibrillator/pacemaker.

Researchers recommend further study to understand the underlying mechanisms.        

SOURCE: American Heart Association

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