Tuesday, 4 April 2017

PTSD is a systemic disorder with comorbidities

PTSD is a systemic disorder with comorbidities Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been traditionally regarded as a psychological disorder. However, the findings of a new study suggest that PTSD should be considered a systemic disorder and not just a psychological disorder as it is associated with several comorbidities independent of exposure to trauma. Researchers analysed the health status of 298 Australian veterans aged between 60 and 88 years who had fought in the Vietnam War between February 2014 and July 2015. Of these, 108 had confirmed PTSD, while 106 acted as trauma-exposed controls. Compared to trauma-exposed controls, patients with PTSD had higher frequency (14.1% vs 17.7%, respectively) of comorbid conditions of the gastrointestinal, hepatic, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. It was also associated with sleep disorders. Comorbid depression was found in 22% of subjects with PTSD. These patients also had a higher prevalence of risk factors such as smoking, alcohol dependence and higher BMI. Hence, not just psychological health, but physical health including control of risk factors should also be part of management of patient with PTSD to improve their quality of life and survival. The study is published April 3, 2017 in the Medical Journal of Australia. (Source: Med J Aust. 2017 Apr 3;206(6):251-257) Dr KK Aggarwal National President IMA & HCFI

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