Trauma, PTSD, and physical health: an epidemiological study of Australian Vietnam veterans

O'Toole, B. I. and Catts, S. V. (2008) Trauma, PTSD, and physical health: an epidemiological study of Australian Vietnam veterans. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 64 1: 33-40. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2007.07.006


Author O'Toole, B. I.
Catts, S. V.
Title Trauma, PTSD, and physical health: an epidemiological study of Australian Vietnam veterans
Journal name Journal of Psychosomatic Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-3999
Publication date 2008-01-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2007.07.006
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 64
Issue 1
Start page 33
End page 40
Total pages 8
Editor Shapiro, C. M.
Creed, F.
Place of publication United States
Publisher Elsevier Inc.
Language eng
Subject C1
110319 Psychiatry (incl. Psychotherapy)
920410 Mental Health
Abstract Objective: This study aimed to examine the relative contributions to physical health of combat trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which have both been implicated separately in poorer physical health but whose unconfounded effects have not been teased out. Methods: Data from an epidemiological study of Australian Vietnam veterans, which used personal interviews and standardized physical and psychiatric health assessments, provided the means to assess the independent and joint effects of psychological trauma exposure and PTSD on a wide range of self-reported measures of physical health. Trauma exposure was measured by published scales of combat exposure and peritraumatic dissociation. Logistic regression modeling was used to assess the relative importance of trauma exposure and PTSD to health while controlling for a set of potential confounders including standardized psychiatric diagnoses. Results: Greater health service usage and more recent health actions were associated more strongly with PTSD, which was also associated with a range of illness conditions coded by the World Health Organization International Classification of Diseases, 9th Edition (asthma, eczema, arthritis, back and other musculoskeletal disorders, and hypertension) both before and after controlling for potential confounders. In contrast, combat exposure and peritraumatic dissociation were more weakly associated with a limited number of unconfounded physical health outcomes. Conclusions: This study provided evidence that PTSD, rather than combat exposure and peritraumatic dissociation, is associated with a pattern of physical health outcomes that is consistent with altered inflammatory responsiveness. (c) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Formatted abstract
Objective: This study aimed to examine the relative contributions to physical health of combat trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which have both been implicated separately in poorer physical health but whose unconfounded effects have not been teased out.
Methods: Data from an epidemiological study of Australian Vietnam veterans, which used personal interviews and standardized physical and psychiatric health assessments, provided the means to assess the independent and joint effects of psychological trauma exposure and PTSD on a wide range of self-reported measures of physical health. Trauma exposure was measured by published scales of combat exposure and peritraumatic dissociation. Logistic regression modeling was used to assess the relative importance of trauma exposure and PTSD to health while controlling for a set of potential confounders including standardized psychiatric diagnoses.
Results: Greater health service usage and more recent health actions were associated more strongly with PTSD, which was also associated with a range of illness conditions coded by the World Health Organization International Classification of Diseases, 9th Edition (asthma, eczema, arthritis, back and other musculoskeletal disorders, and hypertension) both before and after controlling for potential confounders. In contrast, combat exposure and peritraumatic dissociation were more weakly associated with a limited number of unconfounded physical health outcomes.
Conclusions: This study provided evidence that PTSD, rather than combat exposure and peritraumatic dissociation, is associated with a pattern of physical health outcomes that is consistent with altered inflammatory responsiveness.
Keyword epidemiology
health status
inflammation
PTSD
trauma
Vietnam veterans
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Medicine Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 71 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 79 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sat, 21 Mar 2009, 01:10:09 EST by Sheila Cleary on behalf of Psychiatry - Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital