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J Clin Psychiatry. 2000;61 Suppl 7:5-13.

Posttraumatic stress disorder: epidemiology and health-related considerations.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.


Epidemiologic studies show that prevalence of trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is substantial in modern society. Most people will experience a traumatic event at some point in their life, and up to 25% of them will develop the disorder. Demographic and socioeconomic factors also play a role in the risk for exposure to traumatic experiences and subsequent PTSD. Psychiatric history, both personal or in family members, increases the likelihood of being exposed to trauma and of developing PTSD once exposed. Traumatic exposure and PTSD have an impact on the individual's health, health care service utilization, and general functioning. Such effects provoke a considerable economic burden not only for those persons experiencing trauma and PTSD, but also for the health care system and society as a whole.

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