Stressful sufferings can take off years of you as scientists find that people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are actually ageing faster
Previously, PTSD is linked with mental health disorders such as depression, anger, insomnia, eating disorders and substance abuse.
Dilip V. Jeste, professor of psychiatry at University of California, San Diego noted, “This is the first study of its type to link PTSD, a psychological disorder with no established genetic basis, which is caused by external, traumatic stress, with long-term, systemic effects on a basic biological process such as ageing.”
The researchers performed a comprehensive review of published empirical studies relevant to early ageing in PTSD, covering multiple databases going back to the year 2000.
There were 64 relevant studies in which the team reviewed; the 22 were suitable for calculating overall effect sizes for biomarkers and 10 for mortality.
Seven out of 10 studies showed a mild-to-moderate association of PTSD with premature death, consistent with an early onset or acceleration of ageing in PTSD.
The study issued online in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
“These findings do not speak to whether accelerated ageing is specific to PTSD, but they do argue the need to re-conceptualize PTSD as something more than a mental illness,” said first author James B. Lohr, professor of psychiatry.
Early senescence, enhanced medical morbidity and premature mortality in PTSD have implications in health care beyond merely treating PTSD symptoms.
“Our findings warrant a deeper look at this phenomenon and a more integrated medical-psychiatric approach to their care,” Lohr concluded.