HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Physician-diagnosed medical disorders in relation to PTSD symptoms in older male military veterans

Article

This article examines the association between medical disorders and combat-related posttraumatic
stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in male combat veterans of World War II and the Korean conflict.

Abstract

The association between physician-diagnosed medical disorders and combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms was examined in 605 male combat veterans of World War II and the Korean conflict. Physician exams were performed at periodic intervals beginning in the 1960s. PTSD symptoms were assessed in 1990. Cox regression was used to examine the onset of each of 12 disorder categories as a function of PTSD symptoms, controlling for age, smoking, alcohol use, and body weight at study entry. Even with control for these factors, PTSD symptoms were associated with increased onset of arterial, lower gastrointestinal, dermatologic, and musculoskeletal disorders. There was only weak evidence that PTSD mediated the effects of combat exposure on morbidity. Possible mediators of the relationship between combat exposure, PTSD, and physical morbidity are discussed.

Full Reference

Schnurr, P.P., Spiro, A., Paris, A.H., 2000. Physician-diagnosed medical disorders in relation to PTSD symptoms in older male military veterans Health Psychology 19:1, 91-97