Posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain Injury: Sex differences in veterans.
Around half of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) have co-occurring posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research on the differences between male and female veterans with co-occurring PTSD/TBI is sparse. This study evaluated behavioral health differences between sexes with these conditions. Veterans (N = 1577) completed a structured psychiatric interview, TBI interview, and self-report interviews assessing sleep quality, alcohol use, substance use, pain, depression symptoms, PTSD symptoms, and combat exposure. Groups depended on the presence/absence of a lifetime PTSD diagnosis and history of TBI. Among veterans with PTSD and TBI, males and females were equally likely to meet criteria for current PTSD, and in the PTSD only group, male veterans were more likely to have current PTSD. Male veterans with PTSD were also more likely to meet criteria for lifetime alcohol and substance use disorders (AUD and SUD), and mild TBI. Although TBI severity did not differ between sexes in the TBI only group, female veterans were more likely to have a moderate/severe TBI among veterans with co-occurring PTSD. Female veterans without PTSD and TBI were more likely to have major depressive disorder (MDD). Significant sex differences were found for AUD, MDD, current PTSD, and TBI severity.
Epstein, EL; Martindale, SL; Va Mid-Atlantic Mirecc Workgroup, ; Miskey, HM
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