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Depression 14-15 Years After 9/11 Terror Attacks

J Affect Disord; ePub 2018 Jan 3; Jacobson, et al

Exposure to the September 11, 2001 (9/11) terrorist attacks has been found to be associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and comorbid PTSD and depression up to 14-15 years post-disaster, especially among those with previous PTSD, according to a recent study. Researchers examined longitudinal determinants of depression within strata of PTSD among 21,258 enrollees of the World Trade Center Health Registry who completed 4 questionnaires over 14 years of follow-up (Wave 1 in 2003-04; Wave 2 in 2005-06; Wave 3 in 2011-12; and Wave 4 in 2015-16). They found:

  • Across Waves 3 and 4, 18.6% experienced depression, and it was more common among those who ever had PTSD (56.1%) compared with those who had not (5.6%).
  • Across PTSD strata, predictors of depression included low income, unemployment, low social integration and support, post-9/11 traumatic life events, and chronic physical illness.
  • These factors also decreased the likelihood of recovering from depression.

Jacobson MH, Norman C, Nguyen A, Brackbill RM. Longitudinal determinants of depression among World Trade Center Health Registry enrollees, 14-15 years after the 9/11 attacks. [Published online ahead of print January 3, 2018]. J Affect Disord. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2017.12.105.

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