Women with PTSD in poorer health than most
June 29, 2004

MENLO PARK, Calif. (UPI) -- Women with post traumatic stress disorder suffer from poorer health and have more illnesses than women with depression alone, a U.S. study has found.

Researchers at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System compared the health status of women with PTSD, women with just depression and women without either illness. They found PTSD patients of all ages had a poorer physical health status and more medical conditions than the other two groups.

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder characterized by avoidance behaviors and interpersonal difficulties that can occur following a life-threatening or traumatic event.

"Post traumatic stress disorder is associated with a greater burden of medical illness than is seen with depression alone," the authors wrote in the paper, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. "The presence of PTSD may account for an important component of the excess medical morbidity and functional status limitations seen in women with depression."