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Med Arch. 2010; 64(3): 154-157

Somatic Diseases in Patients with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Esmina Avdibegovic, Amra Delic, Kanita Had& 382;ibeganovic, Zihnet Selimbasic.

Purpose: Numerous studies indicate that the exposure to traumatic events and psychological trauma is a widespread. Studies also show the frequency of comorbidity of mental disorders in patients with posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD), while the effects of exposure to traumatic events on somatic health have been neglected for a long time. As PTSD might have a devastating effect on physical integrity and general health, the aim of this study was to show the prevalence of somatic problems in patients with PTSD. Method: Analyzed were 217 patients treated in the period from 2005 to 2008 at the Traumatic Stress Disorders Unit of the Department for Psychiatry Tuzla, in which PTSD was diagnosed using DSM IV criteria. The medical records, Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ) version for Bosnia and Herzegovina for identification of war traumatic events and PTSD symptoms, modified Domestic Violence Inventory, general questionnaire on socio-demographic data and data related to psychosocial issues were used in this study. Somatic diseases were diagnosed by ICD-10. Results: The average age of patients was 48.026.33 years, with somewhat higher prevalence of male patients (136 ys 81). The highest number have completed secondary school (73.3%), were married (88%), employed (61.3%) and, of domicile status (83.4%). Out of 217 patients, in 85.7% the PTSD was related to war traumatic experiences. Somatic complaints and diagnosed chronic somatic diseases were present in 184 or 84.8% patients of both sexes. The highest number of patients had a hypertension, angina pectoris, back pain and degenerative bone diseases, as well as cerebrovascular disease and diabetes. More than three chronic somatic diseases were present in 85 or 39.2% patients with PTSD, and most frequent psycho-social problems were insufficient financial resources and a job loss. Conclusion: Based on the results of this study it can be concluded that association of somatic diseases with posttraumatic stress disorder is often present in persons who were exposed to multiple war traumatic experiences and more psychosocial problems.

Key words: posttraumatic stress disorder, somatic disease, psychological trauma

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