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Brain Behav Immun DOI:10.1016/j.bbi.2017.11.013

Posttraumatic stress disorder onset and inflammatory and endothelial function biomarkers in women.

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsSumner, JA, Chen, Q, Roberts, AL, Winning, A, Rimm, EB, Gilsanz, P, M Glymour, M, Tworoger, SS, Koenen, KC, Kubzansky, LD
JournalBrain Behav Immun
Date Published2018 03
KeywordsAdult, Biomarkers, C-Reactive Protein, Female, Humans, Inflammation, Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1, Middle Aged, Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type II, Severity of Illness Index, Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic, Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1

BACKGROUND: Research has linked posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with higher circulating levels of inflammatory and endothelial function (EF) biomarkers, and effects may be bidirectional. We conducted the first investigation of new-onset PTSD and changes in inflammatory and EF biomarkers.METHODS: Data were from women in the Nurses' Health Study II. Biomarkers obtained at two blood draws, 10-16 years apart, included C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor-alpha receptor-II (TNFRII), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1). PTSD was assessed via interview. Analyses compared biomarker levels in women with PTSD that onset between draws (n = 175) to women with no history of trauma (n = 175) and to women with history of trauma at draw 1 and no PTSD at either draw (n = 175). We examined if PTSD onset was associated with biomarker change over time and if pre-PTSD-onset biomarker levels indicated risk of subsequent PTSD using linear mixed models and linear regression, respectively. Biomarkers were log-transformed.RESULTS: Compared to women without trauma, women in the PTSD onset group had larger increases in VCAM-1 over time (b = 0.003, p = .068). They also had higher TNFRII (b = 0.05, p = .049) and ICAM-1 (b = 0.04, p = .060) levels at draw 1 (prior to trauma and PTSD onset). However, pre-PTSD-onset biomarker levels did not predict onset of more severe PTSD.CONCLUSIONS: PTSD onset (vs. no trauma) was associated with increases in one inflammation-related biomarker. Effects may be small and cumulative; longer follow-up periods with larger samples are needed. We did not observe strong support that pre-PTSD-onset biomarkers predicted risk of subsequent PTSD.


Alternate JournalBrain Behav. Immun.
PubMed ID29157934
PubMed Central IDPMC5857414
Grant ListUM1 CA176726 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
R01 MH078928 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01 MH101269 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
T32 MH017119 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
K01 HL130650 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States