• acute posttraumatic stress disorder;
  • motor vehicle accidents;
  • heart rate;
  • blood pressure


The present study examined the relationship between heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) levels assessed at multiple time points posttrauma and subsequent acute posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms present at a 1-month follow-up. HR and BP levels were measured in 65 motor vehicle accident (MVA) survivors during Emergency Medical Service transport, upon admission to the trauma unit. For the first 20 min postadmission and on the day of discharge. Hierarchical linear modeling analyses revealed no significant relationships between cardiovascular levels and acute PTSD symptoms. Given the small sample size, these results should be interpreted with caution. However, the present results question the use of initial cardiovascular levels as predictors of subsequent acute PTSD in seriously injured MVA victims.