Race/Ethnic Differences in Prevalence and Correlates of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in World Trade Center Responders: Results From a Population-Based, Health Monitoring Cohort

Julia M. Whealin, Dianne Ciro, Christopher R. Dasaro, Iris G. Udasin, Michael Crane, Jacqueline M. Moline, Denise J. Harrison, Benjamin J. Luft, Andrew C. Todd, Adriana Feder, Robert H. Pietrzak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: This study evaluated race/ethnic differences in the prevalence and correlates of World Trade Center (WTC) related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in WTC responders. Method: Data were analyzed from a population-based, health monitoring cohort of 15,440 nontraditional (i.e., construction workers) and 13,403 police WTC responders. Results: Among nontraditional responders, the prevalence of WTC-related PTSD was highest in Latino/a (40.4%) versus Black (27.3%) and White (26.5%) responders; among police responders, Latino/a (10.4%) responders also had higher prevalence of PTSD relative to Black (9.8%) and White (8.7%) responders. However, multivariable analyses revealed that prior psychiatric diagnosis, greater severity of WTC-related exposures, post-9/11 stressful life events, (in police responders only) older age, and (in nontraditional responders only) lower income and education levels accounted for substantially higher prevalence of WTC-related PTSD across ethnic/racial groups. Additionally, among nontraditional responders, subgroups with added risk included responders who were: Latino/a or White had high post-911 stressful events; Latino/a or Black and had pre-9/11 psychiatric history; and Latinas. Among police responders, subgroups with added risk were Latino/a or Black police with a low annual income. Conclusions: Collectively, results of this study underscore the burden of differential vulnerability that can contribute to higher prevalence of PTSD in certain cultural subgroups following large magnitude traumatic events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Disaster responders
  • Ethnic differences
  • Ptsd
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Vulnerability

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