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Violence Against Women. 2009 May;15(5):618-27. doi: 10.1177/1077801209331410.

Evaluation of lifetime trauma exposure and physical health in women with posttraumatic stress disorder or major depressive disorder.

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Department of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, USA.


The current study examines lifetime trauma exposure rates in 148 women with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder (MDD), or neither diagnosis and whether this is related to measures of PTSD, depression, hostility, health symptoms, and health care utilization. Findings indicate that multiple trauma exposures were prevalent in this sample, with 96% of those with PTSD and 79% of those with MDD reporting three or more trauma exposures compared to 46% in the comparison group. Controlling for diagnostic status, regression analysis for PTSD symptom severity reveals that the trauma exposure adult physical assault category was significantly associated with more severe PTSD and depressive symptoms, whereas the childhood violence category was most associated with increased hostility. PTSD and MDD groups reported greater past year health conditions and health care utilization.

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