Monday, December 13, 2010

Ethnicity and PTSD

To be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) people have to have experienced a traumatic event, to have developed symptoms and to have sought help from - and been diagnosed by - medical professionals. Researchers don't really know whether these factors vary between different ethnic groups so a team from Harvard School of Public Health surveyed 34,653 people in an attempt to find out. Black people were most likely to develop PTSD over the course of their life (8.7%) than White people (7.4%) and Hispanic people (7%) with Asian people (4%) being the least likely. Overall White people were more likely to experience trauma but Black and Hispanic people were more likely to have suffered child abuse or domestic violence; and Asians, Black men and Hispanic women had a higher risk of war-related events than White people. Among those who had experienced trauma Black people were 22% more likely and Asian people only two-thirds as likely to develop PTSD. All minority groups were less likely to seek treatment for PTSD than White people and fewer than half of minorities with PTSD sought treatment.

Roberts, A. L. ... [et al] - Race/ethnic differences in exposure to traumatic events, development of post-traumatic stress disorder, and treatment-seeking for post-traumatic stress disorder in the United States (2011), 41, 71–83.
Psychological Medicine

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