Hispanic ethnicity and post-traumatic stress disorder after a disaster: Evidence from a general population survey after September 11, 2001

Sandro Galea, David Vlahov, Melissa Tracy, Donald R. Hoover, Heidi Resnick, Dean Kilpatrick

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Purpose 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. Methods We used data from a representative survey of the New York City metropolitan area (n=2616) 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. Results 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. Conclusion 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.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)520-531
    Number of pages12
    JournalAnnals of epidemiology
    Volume14
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Sep 2004

    Keywords

    • DR
    • Disaster
    • Dominican Republic
    • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic
    • NWS
    • National Women's Study
    • PR
    • PTSD
    • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
    • Puerto Rico
    • RDD
    • Race
    • SEP
    • WTC
    • World Trade Center
    • post-traumatic stress disorder
    • random digit dial
    • socio-economic position

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Epidemiology

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