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Association between traumatic brain injury and risk of posttraumatic stress disorder in active-duty Marines.

Yurgil KA, et al. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014.

Abstract

IMPORTANCE: Whether traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a risk factor for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been difficult to determine because of the prevalence of comorbid conditions, overlapping symptoms, and cross-sectional samples.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the extent to which self-reported predeployment and deployment-related TBI confers increased risk of PTSD when accounting for combat intensity and predeployment mental health symptoms.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: As part of the prospective, longitudinal Marine Resiliency Study (June 2008 to May 2012), structured clinical interviews and self-report assessments were administered approximately 1 month before a 7-month deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan and again 3 to 6 months after deployment. The study was conducted at training areas on a Marine Corps base in southern California or at Veterans Affairs San Diego Medical Center. Participants for the final analytic sample were 1648 active-duty Marine and Navy servicemen who completed predeployment and postdeployment assessments. Reasons for exclusions were nondeployment (n = 34), missing data (n = 181), and rank of noncommissioned and commissioned officers (n = 66).

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was the total score on the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) 3 months after deployment.

RESULTS: At the predeployment assessment, 56.8% of the participants reported prior TBI; at postdeployment assessment, 19.8% reported sustaining TBI between predeployment and postdeployment assessments (ie, deployment-related TBI). Approximately 87.2% of deployment-related TBIs were mild; 250 of 287 participants (87.1%) who reported posttraumatic amnesia reported less than 24 hours of posttraumatic amnesia (37 reported ≥ 24 hours), and 111 of 117 of those who lost consciousness (94.9%) reported less than 30 minutes of unconsciousness. Predeployment CAPS score and combat intensity score raised predicted 3-month postdeployment CAPS scores by factors of 1.02 (P < .001; 95% CI, 1.02-1.02) and 1.02 (P < .001; 95% CI, 1.01-1.02) per unit increase, respectively. Deployment-related mild TBI raised predicted CAPS scores by a factor of 1.23 (P < .001; 95% CI, 1.11-1.36), and moderate/severe TBI raised predicted scores by a factor of 1.71 (P < .001; 95% CI, 1.37-2.12). Probability of PTSD was highest for participants with severe predeployment symptoms, high combat intensity, and deployment-related TBI. Traumatic brain injury doubled or nearly doubled the PTSD rates for participants with less severe predeployment PTSD symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Even when accounting for predeployment symptoms, prior TBI, and combat intensity, TBI during the most recent deployment is the strongest predictor of postdeployment PTSD symptoms.

PMID

24337530 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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