Post-traumatic stress disorder is one of the most difficult affections one must deal with, after suffering a traumatic event. Recent study reveals that women who have experienced the affection face a high risk of heart attack or stroke.
The entire set of results is published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation revealing important associations between the mental affection and the impact it has on our physical health. There is an extremely high risk for women to develop cardiovascular health problems as a consequence of PTSD. The research found a 60% higher risk of heart attack or stroke compared to women who were free of any trauma. Moreover, the risk was heightened with 45% for women who have experienced a traumatic event but fortunately did not develop PTSD, the researchers concluded.
It is nevertheless highly important to note that while the association is based on relevant information, the study was not intended to prove a cause and effect relationship. There is an entire series of factors that may explain the increased risk.
PTSD is a disorder that comes with high levels of anxiety, depression and sadness and symptoms include avoiding reminders of the trauma, nightmares or flashbacks of the traumatizing event, sleeplessness and irritation. Some women developed PTSD after traumatic experiences such as the unexpected death of a loved one or physical assault.
Trauma exposure alone, without experiencing PTSD symptoms, also revealed an increased risk for heart attack and stroke, by almost 50%. Risk of developing heart problems in women who experienced trauma with symptoms of PTSD was unchanged.
Women who experience at least four PTSD symptoms have 60% higher rates of cardiovascular disease, in contrast with women with no history of exposure to traumatic disorders. In cases of women who showed no symptoms, the risks were 45% higher. Risks are also high among women who have a sedentary lifestyle or high blood pressure. Also, behaviors such as smoking and use of antidepressants accounted for almost half the correlation between cardiovascular disease and PTSD.
Traumatic disorders are highly unpredictable and can come with extremely dangerous consequences. Women are advised to take into account therapy rather than medication, as the inner workings of the mind more often than not can be surpassed with the help of psychoanalysis alone. Facts must be rather faced than left behind with the help of medication that is always associated with a series of unpleasant side effects.
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