Associations between lifetime traumatic events and subsequent chronic physical conditions: a cross-national, cross-sectional study

Scott, Kate M., Koenen, Karestan C., Aguilar-Gaxiola, Sergio, Alonso, Jordi, Angermeyer, Matthias C., Benjet, Corina, Bruffaerts, Ronny, Caldas-de-Almeida, Jose Miguel, de Girolamo, Giovanni, Florescu, Silvia, Iwata, Noboru, Levinson, Daphna, Lim, Carmen C. W., Murphy, Sam, Ormel, Johan, Posada-Villa, Jose and Kessler, Ronald C. (2013) Associations between lifetime traumatic events and subsequent chronic physical conditions: a cross-national, cross-sectional study. PLoS ONE, 8 11: . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080573


Author Scott, Kate M.
Koenen, Karestan C.
Aguilar-Gaxiola, Sergio
Alonso, Jordi
Angermeyer, Matthias C.
Benjet, Corina
Bruffaerts, Ronny
Caldas-de-Almeida, Jose Miguel
de Girolamo, Giovanni
Florescu, Silvia
Iwata, Noboru
Levinson, Daphna
Lim, Carmen C. W.
Murphy, Sam
Ormel, Johan
Posada-Villa, Jose
Kessler, Ronald C.
Title Associations between lifetime traumatic events and subsequent chronic physical conditions: a cross-national, cross-sectional study
Journal name PLoS ONE   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2013-11-19
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0080573
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 8
Issue 11
Total pages 11
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Associations between lifetime traumatic event (LTE) exposures and subsequent physical ill-health are well established but it has remained unclear whether these are explained by PTSD or other mental disorders. This study examined this question and investigated whether associations varied by type and number of LTEs, across physical condition outcomes, or across countries.

Methods: Cross-sectional, face-to-face household surveys of adults (18+) were conducted in 14 countries (n = 38, 051). The Composite International Diagnostic Interview assessed lifetime LTEs and DSM-IV mental disorders. Chronic physical conditions were ascertained by self-report of physician's diagnosis and year of diagnosis or onset. Survival analyses estimated associations between the number and type of LTEs with the subsequent onset of 11 physical conditions, with and without adjustment for mental disorders.

Findings: A dose-response association was found between increasing number of LTEs and odds of any physical condition onset (OR 1.5 [95% CI: 1.4-1.5] for 1 LTE; 2.1 [2.0-2.3] for 5+ LTEs), independent of all mental disorders. Associations did not vary greatly by type of LTE (except for combat and other war experience), nor across countries. A history of 1 LTE was associated with 7/11 of the physical conditions (ORs 1.3 [1.2-1.5] to 1.7 [1.4-2.0]) and a history of 5+ LTEs was associated with 9/11 physical conditions (ORs 1.8 [1.3-2.4] to 3.6 [2.0-6.5]), the exceptions being cancer and stroke.

Conclusions: Traumatic events are associated with adverse downstream effects on physical health, independent of PTSD and other mental disorders. Although the associations are modest they have public health implications due to the high prevalence of traumatic events and the range of common physical conditions affected. The effects of traumatic stress are a concern for all medical professionals and researchers, not just mental health specialists.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 17 Oct 2016, 06:59:22 EST by Carmen Lim on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)