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Exploring the Link Between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and inflammation-Related Medical Conditions: An Epidemiological Examination


There have been few epidemiological studies exploring the link between PTSD and inflammation using population-based samples. This study examined the relation between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and inflammation-related medical conditions using data from the 2013–2014 New York City Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Using a representative sample of 1,527 residents in New York City, the association between PTSD and 17 inflammation-related medical conditions were examined. Bivariate and multivariable analyses were conducted, adjusting for demographic characteristics and lifetime depression. PTSD was strongly associated with increased odds for hypercholesterolemia, insulin resistance, angina, heart attack, and emphysema with the greatest odds observed for heart attack (OR= 3.94) and emphysema (OR= 4.06). But PTSD was also associated with lower odds for hypertension, type 1 diabetes, asthma, coronary heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and a failing kidney with the lowest odds observed for type 1 diabetes (OR= 0.43). These findings suggest a complex link between PTSD and inflammation-related medical conditions.

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We thank the CUNY School of Public Health and NYC Department of Health for their development of the NYC HANES initiative.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jack Tsai.

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There was no direct funding for this study.

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Tsai and Mr. Shen declares that they have no conflict of interest with this work.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study by the original principal investigators of the NYC HANES initiative.

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Tsai, J., Shen, J. Exploring the Link Between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and inflammation-Related Medical Conditions: An Epidemiological Examination. Psychiatr Q 88, 909–916 (2017).

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  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Inflammation
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Pulmonary diseases