PTSD Linked to Early Incident TIA, Stroke in Young Veterans

Increased risk seen in cohort of young and middle-aged veterans in unadjusted, fully adjusted models

THURSDAY, Oct. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For young and middle-aged veterans, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with an increased risk for early incident transient ischemic attack (TIA) and ischemic stroke, according to a study published online Oct. 17 in Stroke.

Lindsey Rosman, Ph.D., from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, and colleagues examined the incidence of TIA and ischemic stroke in a cohort of 987,855 young and middle-aged veterans (mean age, 30.29 ± 9.19 years). The authors examined the effect of PTSD on incident stroke.

The researchers found that TIA and ischemic stroke were diagnosed in 766 and 1,877 patients, respectively, during a 13-year period. During follow-up, PTSD was diagnosed in 28.6 percent of the sample. PTSD was significantly associated with new-onset TIA and ischemic stroke in unadjusted analyses (hazard ratios, 2.02 and 1.62, respectively). The correlations remained significant in fully adjusted models (hazard ratios, 1.61 and 1.36, respectively). PTSD had a stronger effect on ischemic stroke risk in men than in women (hazard ratio, 0.63), while sex had no effect for TIA.

"This work will pave the way forward for the development of future age-appropriate surveillance strategies, risk stratification tools, guidelines, and public education campaigns to reduce the growing burden of stroke in young adults," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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