Hispanic ethnicity and post-traumatic stress disorder after a disaster: evidence from a general population survey after September 11, 2001.Ann Epidemiol. 2004 Sep; 14(8):520-31.AE
To assess ethnic differences in the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a disaster, and to assess the factors that may explain these differences.
We used data from a representative survey of the New York City metropolitan area (n=2,616) conducted 6 months after September 11, 2001. Linear models were fit to assess differences in the prevalence of PTSD between different groups of Hispanics and non-Hispanics and to evaluate potential explanatory variables.
Hispanics of Dominican or Puerto Rican origin (14.3% and 13.2%, respectively) were more likely than other Hispanics (6.1%) and non-Hispanics (5.2%) to report symptoms consistent with probable PTSD after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Dominicans and Puerto Ricans were more likely than persons of other races/ethnicities to have lower incomes, be younger, have lower social support, have had greater exposure to the September 11 attacks, and to have experienced a peri-event panic attack upon hearing of the September 11 attacks; these variables accounted for 60% to 74% of the observed higher prevalence of probable PTSD in these groups.
Socio-economic position, event exposures, social support, and peri-event emotional reactions may help explain differences in PTSD risk after disaster between Hispanic subgroups and non-Hispanics.