Heart, respiration rates predict PTSD risk

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Indicators of arousal, such as elevation of the heart and respiration rates, which occur immediately after a traumatic event, are predictive of future posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Australian researchers report.

“Fear-conditioning models posit that increased arousal at the time of trauma predicts subsequent PTSD. This multisite study evaluated the extent to which acute heart rate and respiration rate predict subsequent chronic PTSD,” Dr. Richard A. Bryant, from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, and colleagues state.

The study featured 955 patients who were seen immediately after a traumatic injury at four centers in Australia from April 2004 to February 2006; the patients were then evaluated 3 months later for PTSD using the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale-IV. The patients were also screened for major depressive disorder using the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview.

PTSD was identified in 90 patients (10 percent) and major depressive disorder in 159 (17 percent). The average heart rate at the time of the event in PTSD patients was significantly higher than that in non-PTSD patients, 90.16 vs. 84.84 beats/min…as was the respiration rate, 20.24 vs. 18.58 breaths/min.

By contrast, heart rate and breathing rate did not differ significantly according to depression status, researchers report in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

A heart rate of at least 96 beats/min increased the odds of PTSD by 2.12-fold and a respiration rate of 22 breaths/min increased the odds by 2.42-fold.

“This study provides the first large-scale multisite evidence that elevated heart rate and respiration rate in the immediate aftermath of traumatic injury are associated with subsequent PTSD,” the authors emphasize.

Nonetheless, there is insufficient evidence to start using heart and breathing rates as screening tools for PTSD. The findings do, however, suggest possible starting points for examining the mechanisms that underlie this disorder.

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, December 2009.


Related Posts:

By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - A study of identical twins — one with combat experience and one without — suggests both genetic and environmental factors contribute to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), U.S. researchers said Tuesday. The 10-year study aimed to determine whether the often-debilitating anxiety disorder arises from an inherent vulnerability or is strictly caused by

Full Post: Some people may be predisposed to PTSD

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In people who have suffered a heart attack, depression and a high heart rate at night, while often coexistent, are independent predictors of death, according to research published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. Dr. Robert M. Carney of Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, and colleagues conducted a series

Full Post: Depression a predictor of death after heart attack

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. government experts are seeking new ways to treat a flood of American troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with substance abuse problems compounded by conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder. “This new combination of moderate traumatic brain injury along with post-traumatic stress disorder and the substance abuse has been very difficult

Full Post: New approaches sought for troop substance abuse

LONDON (Reuters) - Playing Tetris, rated one of the greatest video games of all time, immediately after traumatic events appears to reduce flashbacks that plague sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a British study. The preliminary findings could lead to new treatments to prevent or cut flashbacks that are a hallmark of the condition, also

Full Post: Computer puzzle may ease post-traumatic stress

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Infants born with a congenital heart defect that goes uncorrected have a much greater risk of dying than their counterparts who have the heart defect corrected, suggest results of a new study. The birth heart defect known as patent ductus arteriosus, or PDA, afflicts mainly infants who are born very prematurely.

Full Post: Uncorrected heart defect ups risk of infant death

Site Navigation

Most Read



  • kinwrite.com@gmail.com