Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Linked to Stroke in US Women Veterans

US women veterans with PTSD may be at increased risk for incident stroke.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has a strong association with incident stroke in United States (US) women veterans, according to study findings presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2022, held from November 5th through 7th, in Chicago, Illinois.

Researchers sought to assess the association of PTSD with incident stroke among US women veterans.

They conducted a retrospective cohort review of Veterans Affairs (VA) electronic health records to identify women veterans at least 18 years of age who visited any VA facility nationwide from January 2000 through December 2017. They included 132,293 patients (women veterans with PTSD) and 265,846 matched patients (women veterans without PTSD). Administrative billing codes were used to base diagnosis of risk factors and disorders.

Cohort participants were matched for age, number of visits, and risk factors: hypertension, diabetes, smoking, hyperlipidemia, chronic kidney disease, obesity, depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol dependence, neuroendocrine disorders, and female specific risk factors such as pre-eclampsia.

… these results point to a strong association of PTSD with incident stroke in women veterans.

Researchers found that Cox regression analysis showed PTSD to be significantly associated with higher rates of incident stroke (hazard ratio 1.64; 95% CI, 1.43-1.86; P <.001).

Researchers concluded “these results point to a strong association of PTSD with incident stroke in women veterans.” They urge further research to evaluate “the association of PTSD with a broader range of cardiovascular disorders.”

Disclosure: Several study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.


Ebrahimi R, Dennis P, Shroyer AL, Alvarez C, Beckham J, Sumner J. Association of posttraumatic stress disorder with stroke in women veterans. Presented at: The American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2022; November 5-7, 2022; Chicago, IL. Abstract #486.