Daily News from the Veterans Today Network


by Carol Ware Duff, Staff Writer MSN, BA, RN

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 researchers found a startling 25% increase in 1-year mortality, even if surgery occurred years after the patients completed military service.

The study 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.

"We were stunned by the findings regarding the 1-year mortality. They are groundbreaking. This is the first time that PTSD, a psychiatric diagnosis, has been shown as a risk factor for increased mortality after surgery," Dr. Brzezinski told Medscape Psychiatry.

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