PTSD has been linked to the development of numerous health conditions; this study’s aim is to determine if PTSD predicts the diagnosis of type II diabetes, overweight/obesity, hypertension, musculoskeletal disorders, neurological disorders, and chronic pain. Participants were 416 veterans presenting for PTSD assessment/treatment that had served in the most recent conflicts (Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, and Dessert Storm) with a mean age of 35.5 (SD = 10.9). Participants completed a measure of PTSD symptomatology. Electronic medical records were used to obtain diagnosis of health conditions. Cox-Regression analyses were used to evaluate PTSD as a predictor of time to diagnosis for each of the health condition, after controlling for sex, education, and race/ethnicity. Asian/Pacific islanders had greater odds of a type 2 diabetes diagnosis when compared to White/Caucasian participants (HR = 5.99, 95% CI [.1.15-31.17]). Identifying as Asian/Pacific islander decreased the odds of participants being diagnosed with a neurological condition compared to White/Caucasian participants (HR =.25, 95% CI [.35-8.6]). Participants who identified as Hispanic/Latino had lower odds of being diagnosed with overweight/obesity, neurological disorders, and musculoskeletal disorders compared to White/Caucasian participants (HR = .37, 95% CI [.19-.70], HR = .55, 95% CI [.35-8.6], HR = .48 95% CI [.27-.87]). The odds of being diagnosed with hypertension were higher for participants identifying as Hispanic/Latino than Caucasian/White participants (HR = 2.90, 95% CI [1.29-6.58]). Having a two-year degree compared to a high school degree decreased the odds of participants having overweight/obesity (HR = .31, 95% CI [.12-.76]). Having some college, a two-year degree, or a four-year degree increased the odds of developing a neurological disorder (HR = 1.67, 95% CI [1.02-2.75], HR = 2.08, 95% CI [1.03-4.20], HR = 2.35, 95% CI [3.10-40.20]). Every one-year increase in age increased the odds of participants being diagnosed with chronic pain (HR =1.05, 95% CI [1.01-1.10]). PTSD was a significant predictor of the development of hypertension in young veterans (HR = 1.42, 95% CI [1.00-2.01],). Given the findings, mental health and medical professionals are poised to deliver more timely interventions to prevent, treat, and screen for hypertension, even in young veterans.
School of Behavioral Health
Boyd, Kendal C.
Arechiga, Adam L.
Davis, Luther E.
Morrell, Holly E. R.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder; Veterans - Psychology; Military Personnel; Veterans Health;
Subject - Local
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Wolfe, Macey Mendez-Vigo, "Veterans, PTSD Severity, and Health Conditions Over Time" (2017). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 467.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives