HealthDay News — World Trade Center-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a risk factor for myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke among workers involved in cleaning up the debris, according to a study published in the June issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
Molly Remch, from City University of New York in New York City, and colleagues examined whether PTSD is a risk factor for MI and stroke in an observational prospective cohort study of 6,481 blue-collar first responders who participated in clean-up efforts, nested within the World Trade Center Health program in New York City. PTSD, depression, smoking, and dust exposure were self-reported during the 2001 clean-up.
The researchers found that the prevalence of PTSD was 19.9 and 25.9 percent in men and women, respectively. Across follow-up, men and women with PTSD had consistently larger cumulative incidence of MI or stroke, with adjusted hazard ratios of 2.22 and 2.51 for MI and stroke, respectively. In all and in men free of depression, the adjusted hazard ratios for pooled MI and stroke were 2.35 and 1.88, respectively. The adjusted hazard ratios were 2.17 for MI and 3.01 for stroke using hospitalization registry data; for pooled MI and stroke, the adjusted hazard ratio was 2.40 in all, 2.44 in women, and 2.27 in men free from depression. There was no effect for World Trade Center dust exposure.
“This cohort study confirms that PTSD is a risk factor for MI and stroke of similar magnitude in men and women, independent of depression,” the authors write.