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Int J Psychiatry Med. 2008;38(3):297-306.

Incidence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after myocardial infarction (MI) and predictors of ptsd symptoms post-MI--a brief report.

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  • 1Cornell University, New York, USA.



The objectives of this pilot study were to determine the incidence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) one to two months after Myocardial Infarction (MI), and to evaluate potential predictors of PTSD symptoms post-MI.


A convenience sample of 31 patients hospitalized for treatment of acute MI was interviewed during hospitalization and one to two months later. The assessments included socio-demographic questions, questions related to clinical history and hospitalization, assessment of depressive symptoms using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale, medical comorbidity using the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), and perceived social support using the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) scale. Medical records were reviewed for collection of clinical data. Symptoms of PTSD were evaluated using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID) and the Impact of Events Scale-Revised (IES-R).


While one patient (4.0%) met DSM IV criteria for PTSD; additional 16% of the patients had significant symptoms of PTSD as measured by the IES-R (scoring above 24). Higher scores of PTSD symptoms were significantly associated (p < 0.05) with younger age, black race, depressive symptoms in baseline, and self-reported anxiety during the MI.


The incidence of PTSD following MI was low, but 16% of MI patients developed subsyndromal PTSD. The emotional status of the patients at the time of the MI and their subjective reaction to the event were important factors in the development of PTSD symptoms. Black and younger patients were in increased risk of developing PTSD symptoms post-MI.

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