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PTSD and Quality of Life Changes in Patients with Aortic Disease
Claire J. Platt1, Kimanthi Gicovi, MS2, Sukanya Vartak, MD3, Theresa Jacob, PhD3, Melanie Schwarz, MD3, Benjamin A. Youdelman, MD3.
1Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY, USA, 2Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA, 3Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA.

OBJECTIVE: The diagnosis of aortic disease (AD) is a traumatic experience, whether in the setting of an acute aortic dissection (AAD) or aortic aneurysm (AA). This study aims to show the patients’ perceived effect of the diagnosis of aortic disease and the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
METHODS: Four diagnoses were identified: Type A AAD, Type B AAD, AA with Surgical Repair, and “Watch and Wait” AA, which includes patients with a family history of aortic disease. An anonymized self-reporting survey was distributed. It included the PTSD Checklist-5 (PCL-5) and a free-text section where participants could make comments. Qualitative analysis was performed on the subjective responses to analyze quality of life (QoL) measures. This is an ongoing, IRB-approved multi-year study.
RESULTS: Of the 434 respondents, 57.6% had provisional diagnosis of PTSD based on PCL-5 scores. The Type A AAD group had the highest rate of PTSD (58%), and the lowest rate was in the "Watch and Wait" group (25%). There were significantly different rates of provisional PTSD between the groups (P = 0.038). Prevalence of PTSD diagnosis in aortic disease groups was higher than the national background rate of 5-10%. An analysis of the free-text section is shown in Figure 1.
CONCLUSIONS: Aortic disease is a significant risk factor for PTSD. Based on the qualitative responses, in addition to PTSD, patients reported symptoms consistent with other psychological illnesses such as adjustment disorders, major depression disorder, and anxiety disorders. Furthermore, AD negatively affected physical and mental measures of QoL.


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