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Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and 20-Year Physical Activity Trends Among Women

INTRODUCTION: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be associated with physical inactivity, a modifiable lifestyle factor that contributes to risk of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases; however, no study has evaluated the association between PTSD onset and subsequent physical activity (PA) changes.METHOD: Analyses were conducted between October 2014 and April 2016, using data from the ongoing Nurses’ Health Study II (N=50,327). Trauma exposure and PTSD symptoms were assessed using two previously validated measures, the Brief Trauma Questionnaire and Short Screening Scale for DSM-IV PTSD. Average PA (hours/week) was assessed using self-report measures at six time points across 20 years (1989-2009). Linear mixed models with time-updated PTSD assessed differences in PA trajectories by trauma/PTSD status. Among a subsample of women whose trauma/PTSD onset during follow-up, group differences in PA patterns before and after onset were assessed using linear spline models.RESULTS: PA decreased more steeply over time among trauma-exposed women reporting four or five (β= -2.5E-3, SE=1.0E-3, p=0.007) or six or seven PTSD symptoms (β= -6.7E-3, SE=1.1E-3, pCONCLUSIONS: Decreases in PA associated with PTSD symptoms may be a pathway through which PTSD influences cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.

Authors: Winning, Ashley A; Gilsanz, Paola P; Koenen, Karestan C KC; Roberts, Andrea L AL; Chen, Qixuan Q; Sumner, Jennifer A JA; Rimm, Eric B EB; Maria Glymour, M M; Kubzansky, Laura D LD

American journal of preventive medicine. 2017 Jun ;52(6):753-760. Epub 2017-03-18.

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