A twin study of the association of post-traumatic stress disorder and combat exposure with long-term socioeconomic status in Vietnam veterans
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This study examines the association between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and combat exposure with the socioeconomic status of 2210 male monozygotic veteran twin pairs in 1987. In the unadjusted analysis on individuals, modest correlations indicated that those with PTSD were more likely to have been divorced, and less likely to be currently employed or to achieve high status in income, education or occupation. In the crude analysis of veterans not suffering from PTSD, there were small positive correlations between combat level experienced and the likelihood of ever being married, ever being divorced, and the number of years employed at the current job. However, when we examined identical twins discordant for PTSD, and adjusted for pre-military and military service factors, only unemployment remained significant. Likewise, in combat-discordant twins, no significant effects on the socioeconomic indicators were seen. We conclude that PTSD and combat experience in Southeast Asia have not had a major impact on the socioeconomic status of veterans.
Key wordscombat marriage education occupation PTSD
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