Wednesday, May 23, 2012

PTSD in Elderly Tied to Several Stressful Events

A national sample of 9,463 American adults aged 60 and older finds that PTSD is more prevalent than was believed and is associated with significant comorbid psychiatric problems, according to a report in Geriatric Psychiatry by researchers at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System and the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine.

Using data from the Wave 2 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, Robert Pietrzak, Ph.D., M.P.H., and colleagues found that 4.5 percent reported having PTSD and 5.5 percent had some symptoms of PTSD. Rates were higher in women (5.7 percent for PTSD and 6.5 percent for PTSD symptoms) than in men (3.1 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively).

The unexpected death of someone close, a serious illness or injury to someone close, or their own serious or life-threatening illness were most commonly reported as the subjects' most stressful events. A PTSD diagnosis was associated with higher odds of lifetime mood, anxiety, drug use, and borderline and narcissistic personality disorders and decreased psychosocial functioning.

For more information about issues in geriatric psychiatry, see Psychiatric News  here. For a comprehensive review of the latest knowledge in geriatric psychiatry research and treatment, see American Psychiatric Publishing's
Essentials of Geriatric Psychiatry, Second Edition.
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