Skip Navigation LinksHome > September 2011 - Volume 199 - Issue 9 > Effects of Chronic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder on Metaboli...
Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease:
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e318229cfba
Original Articles

Effects of Chronic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder on Metabolic Risk, Quality of Life, and Stress Hormones in Aging Former Refugee Children

Muhtz, Christoph MD*; Godemann, Kathrin MD*; von Alm, Christine*; Wittekind, Charlotte*; Goemann, Christoph MD*; Wiedemann, Klaus MD*; Yassouridis, Alexander PhD†; Kellner, Michael MD*

Collapse Box


It is still unclear whether the association between traumatic stress and physical disease is mediated by posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Therefore, we examined the long-term consequences of PTSD on cardiovascular risk, stress hormones, and quality of life in a sample of former refugee children who were severely traumatized more than six decades ago. In 25 subjects with chronic PTSD and 25 trauma-controlled subjects, we measured the variables of metabolic syndrome supplemented by the ankle-brachial index and highly sensitive C-reactive protein. Quality of life was assessed using the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey. Cortisol, adrenocorticotropin-releasing hormone (ACTH), and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) were measured using the low-dose-dexamethasone suppression test. In addition, salivary cortisol was assessed at 8:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., and 8:00 p.m. We found a significant group effect between participants with and without PTSD regarding quality of life but not in any metabolic parameter including the ankle-brachial index or cortisol, ACTH, and DHEA in plasma before and after dexamethasone or salivary cortisol. The postulated association between traumatic stress and physical illness does not appear to be mediated by PTSD in this population. Nevertheless, the search for subgroups of PTSD patients with childhood traumatization leading to different metabolic and endocrine long-term consequences in aging PTSD patients is needed.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


Article Tools


Article Level Metrics

Search for Similar Articles
You may search for similar articles that contain these same keywords or you may modify the keyword list to augment your search.