What is it about?

PTSD and depression are both associated with hypertension, a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and death. However, the two disorders often occur together and have similar symptoms, making it unclear the extent to which each disorder contributes to high blood pressure. This study of U.S. military veterans was conducted to update past findings and explore the potentially unique relationship that PTSD and depression might have with hypertension.

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Why is it important?

Our findings show that a history of PTSD and more severe PTSD symptoms are both associated with an increased risk of hypertension among U.S. veterans, independent of depression history or symptom severity. These results have important implications for how hypertension is managed in health care settings. Specifically, treating PTSD may help prevent hypertension and associated outcomes.


The influence of chronic mental health disorders, like PTSD, is not considered in current hypertension management guidelines. Given that the brain and body do not exist in isolation from one another, a holistic perspective on health is crucial in the prevention and treatment of debilitating conditions like cardiovascular disease.

Daniel Reis
Rocky Mountain Mental Illness, Education and Research Center for Suicide Prevention

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The unique association of posttraumatic stress disorder with hypertension among veterans: A replication of Kibler et al. (2009) using Bayesian estimation and data from the United States-Veteran Microbiome..., Psychological Trauma Theory Research Practice and Policy, July 2022, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/tra0001304.
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