Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chronic worriers at higher risk for PTSD, research finds

Date:
December 17, 2012
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
People who worry constantly are at greater risk for post-traumatic stress disorder, according to new research.

People who worry constantly are at greater risk for post-traumatic stress disorder, according to new Michigan State University research published in the journal Psychological Medicine.

Many people experience traumatic events such as the death of a loved one, being assaulted or witnessing violence, but only a small minority develop PTSD, said study author Naomi Breslau, a professor of epidemiology at MSU.

"So the question is, 'What's the difference between those who develop PTSD and the majority who don't,'" Breslau said. "This paper says people who are habitually anxious are more vulnerable. It's an important risk factor."

Breslau reached that conclusion by analyzing data from a decade-long study of about 1,000 randomly selected people in southeast Michigan.

At the start of the study, participants answered 12 questions that gauged what psychiatric experts call neuroticism, a trait marked by chronic anxiety, depression and a tendency to overreact to everyday challenges and disappointments. They then had follow-up assessments at three, five and 10 years.

Half the participants experienced a traumatic event during the study period. Those who scored higher on the neuroticism scale as the study began were more likely to end up among the 5 percent who developed PTSD.

Breslau said the findings are particularly persuasive because the study assessed participants' personalities before they had a traumatic experience, rather than measuring neuroticism among those who already had PTSD.

"There have been studies of neuroticism and PTSD, but they've all been retrospective," she said. "We're never sure of the order of things in a retrospective study. This study sets it in a clear time order."

Breslau said there isn't much that can be done to prevent PTSD, but her findings may help doctors recognize people at the highest risk and respond accordingly when they experience trauma.

"We need to be concerned about people with previous psychiatric disorders if there's some kind of catastrophe," she said. "The main thing is that doctors have to look after their patients, ask them questions and get to know them."

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. N. Breslau, L. Schultz. Neuroticism and post-traumatic stress disorder: a prospective investigation. Psychological Medicine, 2012; DOI: 10.1017/S0033291712002632

Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Chronic worriers at higher risk for PTSD, research finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121217140742.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2012, December 17). Chronic worriers at higher risk for PTSD, research finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121217140742.htm
Michigan State University. "Chronic worriers at higher risk for PTSD, research finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121217140742.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins