Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 61–78 | Cite as

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Cardiovascular, and Metabolic Disease: A Review of the Evidence

  • Eric A. Dedert
  • Patrick S. Calhoun
  • Lana L. Watkins
  • Andrew Sherwood
  • Jean C. Beckham
Original Article



Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular and metabolic disease.


The purpose of the current review is to evaluate the evidence suggesting that PTSD increases cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors, and to identify possible biomarkers and psychosocial characteristics and behavioral variables that are associated with these outcomes.


A systematic literature search in the period of 2002–2009 for PTSD, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic disease was conducted.


The literature search yielded 78 studies on PTSD and cardiovascular/metabolic disease and biomarkers.


Although the available literature suggests an association of PTSD with cardiovascular disease and biomarkers, further research must consider potential confounds, incorporate longitudinal designs, and conduct careful PTSD assessments in diverse samples to address gaps in the research literature. Research on metabolic disease and biomarkers suggests an association with PTSD, but has not progressed as far as the cardiovascular research.


PTSD Biomarkers Cardiovascular Metabolic Hostility 



This work was primarily supported by 2R01MH62482, but also by 2K24DA016388, 2R01CA081595, HL61784, HL72390, the Office of Research and Development Clinical Science, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center. The views expressed in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the funding agencies. The authors do not have any competing interests that might be interpreted as influencing the research.


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric A. Dedert
    • 1
  • Patrick S. Calhoun
    • 2
  • Lana L. Watkins
    • 3
  • Andrew Sherwood
    • 3
  • Jean C. Beckham
    • 2
  1. 1.VA Research Service, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesDurham Veterans Affairs and Duke University Medical CentersDurhamUSA
  2. 2.VA Research Service/VISN 6 Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesDurham Veterans Affairs and Duke University Medical CentersDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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