Table of Contents
Cardiovascular Psychiatry and Neurology
Volume 2016, Article ID 4720941, 9 pages
Research Article

Subclinical Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms: Relationships with Blood Pressure, Hostility, and Sleep

1Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
2University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville, SC 29605, USA
3University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC 29209, USA

Received 30 March 2016; Accepted 25 May 2016

Academic Editor: Koichi Hirata

Copyright © 2016 James A. McCubbin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among subclinical PTSD symptoms, blood pressure, and several variables linked to both frank PTSD and the basic psychobiological adaptation to stress. The authors recruited a sample of 91 healthy, young men and women between 18 and 35 years. We examined links among subclinical posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, blood pressure, sleep quality, and hostility. Posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms were associated with poorer sleep quality and higher hostility scores in both women and men. In men, PTSD symptoms were also associated with elevated resting diastolic blood pressure, and sex was an important moderator of that relationship. Moreover, sleep quality and hostility are substantive mediators of the relationship between diastolic blood pressure and PTSD. Behavioral interventions designed to increase sleep quality and restructure hostile attitudes could potentially serve as preventive interventions for PTSD and the underlying cardiovascular comorbidities in young adults.