Methods

Overview

The Mind Your Heart Study is a prospective cohort study of Veterans, with and without post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), designed to better understand the impact of PTSD on metabolic and cardiovascular health and outcomes. It has two main aims: 1. to determine whether PTSD is an independent risk factor for subsequent cardiovascular disease and 2. to identify mechanisms responsible for this association.

Inclusion Criteria

All participants needed to be over the age of 18 at the time of recruitment. For the PTSD Cohort, all participants had to have a lifetime and/or current diagnosis of PTSD. For the control group, all participants needed to NOT have a lifetime and/or current diagnosis of PTSD.

Exclusion Criteria

(a) inability to walk one block

(b) acute coronary event within the previous 6 months

(c) planning to move out of the area within the following 3 years

(d) lack of a stable mailing address or contact information

Methods

Participants underwent baseline, in-person exams consisting of the measures identified below. Since that time, they have participated in annual interviews. All measures recorded during those follow-up interviews can be found below. A pilot cohort of participants returned during Year 5 for a second, in person exam.

Measures