Traumatic stress and cardiopulmonary disease burden among low-income, urban heart failure patients

April Taylor-Clift, Lucie Holmgreen, Stevan E. Hobfoll, James I. Gerhart, Dejuran Richardson, James E. Calvin, Lynda H. Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background Traumatic events and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are associated with increased risk for cardiopulmonary disease (CPD) in veterans, men, and primarily White populations. Less is known about trauma, PTSD, and CPD burden among low-income, racial minority residents who are at elevated risk for trauma and PTSD. It was hypothesized that traumatic events and PTSD would be significantly associated with CPD burden among low-income, racial minority residents. Methods We evaluated cross-sectional relationships between traumatic events, PTSD, depression, and CPD burden in 251 low-income, urban, primarily Black adults diagnosed with heart failure. Data were analyzed using bivariate analyses, logistic and linear regression. Results Forty-three percent endorsed at least one traumatic event. Twenty-one percent endorsed two or more traumatic events. In logistic regression analyses, traumatic events were associated with increased prevalence of coronary artery disease (adjusted odds=1.33, p<.05), hypertension (adjusted odds=1.28, p<.05), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (adjusted odds=1.52, p<.01), and cardiac arrest (adjusted odds=1.27, p<.05). PTSD was also related to increased risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (adjusted odds=1.22, p<.05) and was associated with earlier onset of heart failure (β=-.13, p<.05). Limitations The study utilizes cross-sectional, self-report data. Conclusions Findings support the link between traumatic events, PTSD, and CPD burden in low-income, primarily Black patients with heart failure. Depression appears to be less closely linked to CPD burden, despite receiving significant attention in the literature. The accumulation of traumatic events may exacerbate CPD burden among urban, low-income, racial minority residents with heart failure; findings highlight the importance of PTSD screening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-234
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - Jan 15 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiopulmonary health
  • Depression
  • Health disparities
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Traumatic stress


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