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Study Looks at PTSD Among Workers in Twin Towers During 9/11 Attack

Mike Mitka
JAMA. 2011;305(9):874-875. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.212.
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The first study of people who worked in and escaped the World Trade Center towers following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack found that high percentages of them had posttraumatic stress symptoms or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 2 to 3 years after the event. The results have implications for individuals, first responders, caregivers, and policy makers who must deal with man-made or natural disasters.

The study of 3271 English-speaking civilian survivors found that 95.6% reported at least 1 current posttraumatic stress symptom and 15% screened positive for PTSD 2 to 3 years after the event (DiGrande L. Am J Epidemiol. 2011:173[3]:271-281). Among the general US population, about 6.8% of adults develop PTSD in their lifetime, with 3.5% of adults having the condition in any given year.

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People who worked in the collapsing World Trade Center towers were at greater risk for developing posttraumatic stress disorder if they were also caught in the dust clouds.

(Photo credit: Jim Watson/Department of Defense)



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