Young adults with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be at increased risk for mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack,TIA) or a major stroke by middle age, based on new research published in the journal Stroke.
The study found that having PTSD seemed to elevate the risk as much as other more well-known risk factors, such as smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, and elevated cholesterol.
To conduct their study, the researchers looked data from more than 1 million veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, ranging in age from 18-60. 2/3 of the study group were Caucasian. Among this group, 29% had been diagnosed with PTSD. No persons had previously had a TIA or stroke. Over a 13-year follow-up period, 766 veterans had a TIA and 1,877 had an ischemic stroke, the result of disruption of blood flow to the brain.
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