Study: PTSD Impacts Infection Risks for Men and Women Differently

December 19th 2019
Jill Murphy, Assistant Editor
Jill Murphy, Assistant Editor

When comparing men and women with PTSD, the study found that having PTSD had more of an effect on a woman’s risk for several kinds of infection than on a man’ risk, for example, urinary tract infections.

A study conducted by the Boston University of Public Health (BUSPH) is the first to analyze the relationship between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and dozens of infection types. It is also the first to conclude that PTSD impacts infection risks for men and women differently.

Colleagues from BUSPH, Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, the University of Vermont, and the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health used Danish national records to evaluate the health histories of every Danish-born Danish citizen who received a PTSD diagnosis from 1995 through 2011. Each person was matched with a comparison group of Danes of the same sex and age.

Following this, the researchers compared the Danes’ histories of hospital care for 28 different kinds of infections, and they found that people with PTSD were 1.8 times likely to have any infection than those without PTSD.

When comparing men and women with PTSD, the study found that having PTSD had more of an effect on a woman’s risk for several kinds of infection than on a man’ risk, for example, urinary tract infections. In addition, having PTSD had more of an effect on a man’s risk of certain other kinds of infection, most notably skin infection.

REFERENCE

PTSD nearly doubles infection risk.ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191015131421.htm. Published October 15, 2019. Accessed December 16, 2019.

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