Prevalence and predictors of posttraumatic stress disorder in patients with acute myocardial infarction

Heart Lung. Mar-Apr 2008;37(2):113-21. doi: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2007.03.005.


Objective: We estimated the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and identified predictors of self-rated PTSD symptoms in patients post-myocardial infarction (MI).

Methods: We recruited 400 patients (mean age 60 +/- 12 years, 79% were men) with a previous acute index MI who were referred to a tertiary cardiology clinic. PTSD was assessed by the Clinician-administered PTSD Scale, and self-rated severity of PTSD symptom levels were assessed by the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale.

Results: Of the 190 patients who completed the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale, 34 met the cutoff for clinically significant PTSD symptomatology and 32 agreed to be interviewed. Among these patients, the Clinician-administered PTSD Scale interview yielded a prevalence of full and subsyndromal PTSD of 9.5% (95% confidence interval 7.4-11.6). Retrospectively rated feelings of helplessness (beta = .47, P < .001) and pain intensity during MI (beta = .15, P = .019) independently predicted PTSD symptom level.

Conclusions: Approximately 10% of patients post-MI had full or subsyndromal PTSD. Subjective perception of MI predicted self-rated PTSD symptom level.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Helplessness, Learned
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / complications*
  • Myocardial Infarction / psychology*
  • Prevalence
  • Psychological Tests
  • Psychometrics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires