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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Combat Exposure, and Carotid Intima-Media Thickness in Male Twins

Goetz, Margarethe ; Shah, Amit ; Goldberg, Jack ; Cheema, Faiz ; Shallenberger, Lucy ; Murrah, Nancy ; Bremner, J ; Vaccarino, Viola

American Journal of Epidemiology, Nov 15, 2014, Vol.180(10), p.989 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Combat Exposure, and Carotid Intima-Media Thickness in Male Twins
  • Author: Goetz, Margarethe ; Shah, Amit ; Goldberg, Jack ; Cheema, Faiz ; Shallenberger, Lucy ; Murrah, Nancy ; Bremner, J ; Vaccarino, Viola
  • Description: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with an increased risk of ischemic heart disease, though the pathophysiologic mechanisms remain unclear. Carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) is a measure of subclinical atherosclerosis. We examined whether PTSD and combat exposure were associated with CIMT in Vietnam War-era twins after controlling for shared genetic and childhood factors. Between 2002 and 2010, we studied 465 middle-aged twins from the Vietnam Era Twin Registry who were free from cardiovascular disease. PTSD was diagnosed using the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, and CIMT was measured by ultrasound. Mixed-effects regression models were used to examine individual, between-pair, and within-pair associations. Approximately 13% of participants met the criteria for PTSD, and 45% served in the Vietnam Theater. PTSD was associated with 32.7 ...m higher CIMT (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.9, 64.5) after adjustment for confounders. The average CIMT for the pair increased by 59.7 ...m for each additional twin with PTSD (95% CI: 15.9, 104.2). We found no significant within-pair differences in CIMT when comparing PTSD-discordant co-twins. Results for combat exposure were similar, but its association with CIMT weakened after adjustment for PTSD (95% CI: 7.0, 45.3). Among Vietnam War-era veterans, combat exposure and PTSD are associated with CIMT, though the associations are largely mediated by shared childhood factors. (ProQuest: ... denotes formulae/symbols omitted.)
  • Is Part Of: American Journal of Epidemiology, Nov 15, 2014, Vol.180(10), p.989
  • Identifier: ISSN: 00029262
  • Subjects: Vietnam ; Twins ; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ; Cardiovascular Disease ; Ischemia ; Military Engagements ; Males ; Veterans
  • Language: English

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