Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Heart Disease

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry; Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type

Book Chapter


Heart Diseases; Myocardial Infarction; Comorbidity; Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic


Cardiovascular Diseases | Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Mental Disorders | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


Approximately 15% of patients who have had a myocardial infarction (MI) or coronary artery bypass graft surgery are likely to develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the year after the cardiac event and there is substantial evidence linking PTSD with marked distress and poor quality of life. There is some evidence that PTSD is associated with adverse medical outcomes in cardiac patients. Because of the negative impact on quality of life, screening cardiac patients for PTSD is warranted. When PTSD is identified, there are several treatment options, including psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy, particularly with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

DOI of Published Version



Doerfler, L. A. and Paraskos, J. A. (2012) Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Heart Disease, in Psychiatry and Heart Disease: The Mind, Brain, and Heart (eds M. Riba, L. Wulsin and M. Rubenfire), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470975138.ch12

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Psychiatry and Heart Disease: The Mind, Brain, and Heart