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PTSD Among Stroke Survivors

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Survivors of the battlefield aren’t the only ones at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

A meta-analysis found that one in four people who survived a stroke or a mini-stroke developed PTSD within one year of the event, and one in nine survivors experienced chronic PTSD. PTSD is also common among heart attack survivors – and worse, PTSD contributes to a doubled risk of a future cardiac event.

According to the lead author, “surviving a life-threatening health scare can have a debilitating psychological impact.”

Reminder: stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and the number one cause of disability in the US.

Comments: the average age of stroke survivors in this study was 64, which is younger than most stroke survivors; this slightly limits the study’s generalizability.

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