Wednesday, October 21, 2009

MEDSCAPE: Veterans with PTSD Twice as Likely to Die After Surgery

Editor's Note:  Roughly 10% of Gulf War veterans from the 1991 Gulf War have been diagnosed with PTSD, compared to at least one-third of veterans of the current Iraq War.


Written by Medscape.

(Medscape - October 17, 2009) -  In continuing coverage, Medscape (10/17, Kelly) reported, "The first study to examine the effects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on mortality after surgery shows that veterans with PTSD are twice as likely to die following surgery as their counterparts without PTSD." 

The study, which "found a startling 25% increase in 1-year mortality, even if surgery occurred years after the patients completed military service," was "presented October 17 at the American Society of Anesthesiologists 2009 Annual Meeting by lead author Marek Brzezinski, MD, PhD, from the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of California–San Francisco." 

The "San Francisco research group is currently conducting a prospective epidemiological study looking at the effects of PTSD on perioperative outcomes that builds on the current study. They are also preparing a study to examine the potential protective effects of medical therapy in patients with PTSD undergoing surgery in an attempt to identify a potential solution."

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