Increased blood pressures in veterans with post traumatic stress disorder: A case-control study

Ehsan Moazen-Zadeh, Alireza Khoshdel, Farhad Avakh, Arash Rahmani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective Veterans of war affected by posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at increased risk for cardiovascular diseases. We aimed to compare brachial and central blood pressures between veterans with PTSD and controls. Method In this case-control study on veterans of Iran-Iraq war, 50 veterans with PTSD and 50 veterans as controls were selected from an outpatient clinic and matched for age ±3 years. Exclusion criteria were malignancies, severe anatomical defects such as amputated extremities, history of PTSD before serving in war, comorbid psychiatric disorders other than anxiety or depressive disorders. Detailed history was taken concerning medical and social aspects. Beck Depression Inventory was used for depressive symptoms. Brachial blood pressures were measured using both auscultatory and oscillometric devices. Measures of central hemodynamics were estimated accordingly. Data on lipid profile were collected either through medical records or newly required lab tests. Results Brachial systolic, diastolic, and pulse pressures as well as estimated central systolic and diastolic pressures were significantly higher in the PTSD group. Beck Depression Inventory scores, frequency of diabetes mellitus, and hypertension were significantly higher in the PTSD group. PTSD status was an independent predictor of both brachial and central systolic and diastolic pressures. Conclusions We demonstrated increased measures of blood pressure in veterans with PTSD independent of depression and other risk factors. Further research is warranted to confirm our results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-586
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • blood pressure
  • cardiovascular disease
  • depression
  • post traumatic stress disorder
  • veterans


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