An examination of the association between 5-HTTLPR, combat exposure, and PTSD diagnosis among U.S. veterans.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism of the serotonin transporter (SLC6A4) gene, combat exposure, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis and among two samples of combat-exposed veterans. METHOD: The first sample included 550 non-Hispanic Black (NHB) combat-exposed veterans. The second sample included 555 non-Hispanic White (NHW) combat-exposed veterans. Participants were genotyped for the 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 variants of the SLC6A4 gene. A structured clinical interview was used to diagnose PTSD. Combat and civilian trauma exposure were assessed with validated self-report instruments. Logistic regression was used to test for main effects of 5-HTTLPR on PTSD diagnosis as well as gene x environment (GxE) interactions after adjusting for sex, ancestry proportion scores, civilian trauma exposure, and combat exposure. RESULTS: Within the NHB sample, a significant additive effect was observed for 5-HTTLPR (OR = 1.502, p = .0025), such that the odds of having a current diagnosis of PTSD increased by 1.502 for each additional S' allele. No evidence for an association between 5-HTTLPR and PTSD was observed in the NHW sample. In addition, no evidence for combat x 5-HTTLPR effects were observed in either sample. CONCLUSION: The present study suggests that there may be an association between 5-HTTLPR genotype and PTSD diagnosis among NHB veterans; however, no evidence for the hypothesized 5-HTTLPR x combat interaction was found.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Liu, Y; Garrett, ME; Dennis, MF; Green, KT; VA Mid-Atlantic MIRECC Registry Workgroup, ; Ashley-Koch, AE; Hauser, MA; Beckham, JC; Kimbrel, NA

Published Date

  • 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 / 3

Start / End Page

  • e0119998 -

PubMed ID

  • 25793742

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4368771

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1932-6203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1371/journal.pone.0119998


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States