The American Physiological Society Press Release

press release logo

APS Contact: APS Communications Office


Phone: 301.634.7209

Twitter: @APSPhysiology

This Week’s Articles in PresS Highlights

Bethesda, Md. (July 15, 2015)—The American Physiological Society Articles in PresS are the latest findings in physiology and the health sciences published ahead of print. Read this week’s highlights including new research on the link between cardiovascular disease and post-traumatic stress disorder and a novel use for the popular diabetes drug metformin.

Why Does PTSD Increase the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease?

A growing number of patient studies show that people who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart attack. A new review article in American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology examines the recent scientific literature to explain how the two are linked.  The authors found evidence that PTSD leads to overactive nerve activity, dysfunctional immune response and activation of the hormone system that controls blood pressure (the renin-angiotensin system). “These changes ultimately contribute to the culmination of increased cardiovascular disease risk,” the authors wrote. Cardiovascular events, including stroke and heart attack, also can be stressful enough to cause PTSD symptoms, “putting these individuals at greater risk for future adverse cardiovascular events,” the authors noted.

The article “Autonomic and inflammatory consequences of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the link to cardiovascular disease” is published ahead-of-print in American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.

Common Diabetes Drug Can Also Treat Liver Cirrhosis, Study Suggests

The diabetes drug metformin continues to expand beyond its treatment for type 2 diabetes. In addition to its potential use in treating age-related health problems, metformin can treat portal hypertension—high blood pressure in the liver resulting from cirrhosis, according to a new study in American Journal of Physiology—Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology. The study found that metformin reduced blood pressure in the liver, liver scarring and inflammation after one week of use in cirrhotic rats. Combining metformin with propranolol, which is commonly used to treat portal hypertension, further lowered liver blood pressure. This drug combination may be a more effective therapy for portal hypertension and warrants further clinical evaluation, the researchers wrote.

The article “Metformin reduces hepatic resistance and portal pressure in cirrhotic rats” is published ahead-of-print in American Journal of Physiology—Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: To schedule an interview with a member of the research team, please contact the APS Communications Office at 301-634-7209. Find more research highlights at

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 10,500 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.