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The physiological manifestations of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have been associated with an increase in risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) independent of negative lifestyle factors. Peripheral vascular dysfunction may be a mechanism by which PTSD increases CVD risk via increases in oxidative stress, inflammation, and/or sympathetic nervous system activity. PURPOSE: This study sought to examine peripheral vascular function in those with PTSD compared to age-matched controls. METHODS: Eight individuals with PTSD (5 women, 3 men; age 22 ± 2 years), and sixteen healthy controls (CON; 10 women, 6 men, 23 ± 2 years), participated in the study. Leg vascular function was assessed via passive leg movement (PLM) technique and evaluated with Doppler ultrasonography. PLM-induced increases in leg blood flow were quantified as peak change in blood flow from baseline (ΔPeak LBF) and blood flow area under the curve (LBF AUC). RESULTS: Significant differences in leg vascular function were revealed between groups. The PTSD group reported significantly lower ΔPeak LBF (PTSD: 294.16 ± 54.16; CON: 594.78 ± 73.70 ml∙min-1; p = 0.01) and LBF AUC (PTSD: 57.23 ± 24.37; CON: 169.92 ± 29.84 ml; p = 0.02) when compared to the CON group. CONCLUSION: This study revealed that lower limb vascular function is impaired in individuals with PTSD when compared to healthy counterparts.
PTSD, posttraumatic stress disorder, cardiovascular, blood flow, vascular system, sympathetic nervous sytem, oxidative stress, inflammation
Mental Disorders | Sports Sciences
Ryan S. Garten
Is Part Of
VCU Graduate Research Posters