Posttraumatic Stress Disorder–Related Hospitalizations in the United States (2002–2011): Rates, Co-Occurring Illnesses, Suicidal Ideation/Self-Harm, and Hospital Charges

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Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to evaluate posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)–related hospitalizations in the United States (2002–2011). Over this period, there were an estimated 1,477,944 hospitalizations (915,591 women) with either a primary (reason for hospitalization) or secondary PTSD diagnosis. Population-based hospitalization rates rose from 2002 to 2011; women in the age range of 20 to 44 years had the highest rates and the steepest rise. Most of the hospitalizations for men and women younger than 45 years had been assigned a primary diagnosis of mental illness (including PTSD). Mood and substance use disorders were among the most commonly co-occurring psychiatric diagnoses with PTSD. Suicidal ideation/suicide attempts declined with increasing age. The strongest predictor of this criterion was mood disorder, and its importance as a predictor increased as people aged. Total inflation-adjusted charges for all PTSD-related hospitalizations were $34.9 billion, with 36% being for hospitalizations where a mental illness (including PTSD) was the primary diagnosis.

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