Urban Poverty Causes PTSD

 Urban Poverty Causes PTSD

PTSD Increases Hospitalization Rates in Urban Poor
By John Gever, Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Published: March 28, 2008
Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Earn CME/CE credit
for reading medical news
BOSTON, March 28 — Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common among poor, urban residents and those who suffer it have more and longer hospital stays, researchers here said.

Of 592 patients at an urban primary care clinic, 22% were found to have PTSD, and they were more than twice as likely to have been hospitalized in the previous year as clinic patients without the disorder, reported Jane Liebschutz, M.D., M.P.H., of Boston University, and colleagues in the April issue of Medical Care.

Dr. Liebschutz said in an interview that the findings are important because PTSD is “under-recognized and under-treated” in patients whose condition does not stem from military combat or sexual assault.

She said most earlier research on the ripple effects of PTSD have focused on those populations, not on people whose post-traumatic stress has other sources.

Better recognition of PTSD in urban populations and its negative consequences could improve their long-term health, since effective treatment for PTSD is available, the researchers said.


Half the participants had annual incomes under $20,000, with PTSD significantly more common in those with low incomes. Some 59% of participants were black, 19% were white, and 8% were Hispanic.

Most of the trauma that participants reported was related to non-sexual crime and accidents.



“Only 11% had PTSD recorded in their medical records, so there clearly is under-recognition, but 50% of people with PTSD had depression in their records, even when they didn’t have depression,” she said.
The study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. No potential conflicts of interest were reported.

Source reference:
Kartha A, et al “The impact of trauma exposure and post-traumatic stress disorder on healthcare utilization among primary care patients” Medical Care 2008; 46: 388-93.




2 Responses to “Urban Poverty Causes PTSD”

  1. warugaba carol Says:

    its indeed true because the urban poor tend to over think and wonder what the next day will be for them.its absurd as far as they are concerned especially those in developing countries like Uganda where they are attacked by different diseases and housing is very bad plus poor sanitation.

  2. And to stop panic attacks and anxiety problems, try to change your outlook in life for the better.
    The essential nutrients present in fruits and vegetables subsides the anxiety causing
    factors. But it’s very important to know that these are highly treatable. Having said this, stress and panic attack can not generally be concluded as always directly related because if your stress is caused by internal factors, it does not always cause panic attacks.

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