Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist

PTSD May Affect Blood Vessel Health In Veterans


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious condition which affects millions of people around the world. Those who suffer from PTSD experience dramatic changes on emotional, cognitive, behavioural and physiological levels, which negatively impacts on their daily functioning and alters their perception of life.

According to the study conducted by Marlene Grenon, M.D. and other researchers from the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Centre in San Francisco, chronic stress, which is typically experienced by those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, does not only affect psychological functioning, but may directly impact the health of the blood vessels.

The study revealed that the blood vessels of veterans with PTSD were unable to expand to the same degree in response to stimulus, such as to the squeezing of a blood-pressure cuff, as in veterans without PTSD. This indicated less reactive blood vessels which are linked with heart disease and other serious health conditions, in addition to increasing age, worse renal function and high blood pressure.

Although the study only included veterans, PTSD also occurs in non-veterans and has the same debilitating effect on their lives. The results of the study have reinforced the importance of helping “people manage PTSD and other types of stress to reduce the negative impact of chronic stress on blood vessels” in order to improve cardiovascular health.

For more information go to:American Heart Association. “PTSD may affect blood vessel health in veterans.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 March 2016.  <>