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BMC Med. 2012 Oct 24;10:126. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-10-126.

Health surveillance of deployed military personnel occasionally leads to unexpected findings.

Author information

1
Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies, University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia. alexander.mcfarlane@adelaide.edu.au

Abstract

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be caused by life threatening illness, such as cancer and coronary events. The study by Forbes et al. made the unexpected finding that military personnel evacuation with medical illness have similar rates of PTSD to those evacuated with combat injuries. It may be that the illness acts as a nonspecific stressor that interacts with combat exposures to increase the risk of PTSD. Conversely, the inflammatory consequence of systemic illness may augment the effects to traumatic stress and facilitate the immunological abnormalities that are now being associated with PTSD and depression. The impact of the stress on cytokine systems and their role in the onset of PTSD demands further investigation. Military personnel evacuated due to physical illness require similar screening and monitoring for the risk of PTSD to those injured who are already known to be at high risk.

PMID:
23095470
PMCID:
PMC3523033
DOI:
10.1186/1741-7015-10-126
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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