THURSDAY, Feb. 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Based on repeated measures, 9/11-related probable posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with an increased mortality risk, according to a study published online Feb. 5 in JAMA Network Open.

Ingrid Giesinger, from the World Trade Center Health Registry in Long Island City, New York, and colleagues conducted a longitudinal study of 63,666 Registry enrollees (29,270 responders and 34,396 civilians) to examine whether 9/11-related probable PTSD is associated with mortality risk. PTSD assessments were conducted at baseline (wave 1: 2003 to 2004) and during follow-up (wave 2: 2006 to 2007; wave 3: 2011 to 2012; and wave 4: 2015 to 2016).

The likelihood of having PTSD was higher for participants who were middle-aged, female, non-Latino black, or Latino. The researchers found that 2,349 enrollees died during follow-up (including 230 external-cause deaths and 487 cardiovascular deaths). In time-varying analyses, among all enrollees, PTSD correlated with all-cause, cardiovascular, and external-cause mortality; the adjusted hazard ratios were of greater magnitude compared with analyses examining baseline PTSD. Time-varying PTSD was associated with an increased risk for all-cause, cardiovascular, and external-cause mortality among responders (adjusted hazard ratios, 1.91, 1.95, and 2.40, respectively) and among civilians (adjusted hazard ratios, 1.54, 1.72, and 2.11, respectively).

“Our findings suggest that it is critical to sustain long-term efforts to identify and treat those at risk of developing PTSD following a traumatic experience,” the authors write.

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