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Examining the relationships between trauma exposure, posttraumatic stress disorder, and metabolic syndrome
Perin, Taylor L
Metabolic syndrome, comprised of a number of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus, is increasing in prevalence. Additionally, there is growing clinical and epidemiological evidence to support that exposure to traumatic events alone is linked to increased medical morbidity, particularly the onset of chronic disease and premature mortality. This study examines the relationship between traumatic event exposure, specifically childhood trauma and combat exposure, and metabolic syndrome. The potential contribution to this relationship of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), resulting from traumatic event exposure and also linked to metabolic syndrome, will be examined as well. The study utilizes data from an existing project, which includes data from veterans enrolling in a screening clinic at the Veterans Affairs who provided informed consent for their screening data to be used for future research. After consent was obtained, participants completed self-report questionnaires, physical exam, medical history, laboratory testing, and clinical interviews as a part of the screening process. Metabolic syndrome components for this study were measured using laboratory values of lipids and glucose along with physical measurements of blood pressure and hip/waist circumference. Self report assessments of trauma exposure via questionnaires were utilized. Severity of PTSD is measured by results from structured clinical interviews. Analysis was performed using regression to examine the stated relationships. Results from this study will inform about potential factors in the relationship between trauma and predictors of disease. A better understanding of the relationship between trauma exposure and physical health problems like metabolic syndrome will help focus intervention and prevention measures, reducing the burden of the exposed population.
Health and Human Services
Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) San Diego State University, 2011
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