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Breslau N. Gender differences in trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder.

15 Aug
Breslau N. Gender differences in trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder.
This study by Naomi Breslau of the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, examined gender differences in the general population, first in exposure to traumatic events and second in the emergence of PTSD following exposure.

A representative sample of 2181 persons in the Detroit metropolitan area, ages 18-45 years, were interviewed to assess their history of traumatic events and the presence of PTSD, using Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) criteria.

The study found that lifetime prevalence of traumatic events was slightly higher in men than in women. But the risk for PTSD following traumatic experiences was twofold higher in women than in men. This gender difference was primarily due to women''s greater risk of PTSD following events that involved assaultive violence.

The probability of PTSD in women versus men exposed to assaultive violence was 36% versus 6%. Prior exposure to assaultive violence was associated with an increased risk of PTSD from a subsequent trauma, but the gender difference in the vulnerability for PTSD was not explained by prior exposure. In addition, duration of PTSD was longer in women than in men.

Citation: Breslau N. Gender differences in trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Gender Specific Medicine 2002 Jan-Feb;5(1):34-40
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award