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Many Survivors of World Trade Center Attacks Suffered PTSD: Study
Date:1/9/2011

al of the most troubling and life-threatening events during the disaster were at the greatest risk of PTSD."

Most (91 percent) of people caught above the impact zone in 2 World Trade Center said they had already begun evacuating the building after the first plane hit 1 World Trade Center. About 61 percent said they were caught in the resultant dust cloud after the collapse, 94 percent witnessed horror, and about a third (32 percent) sustained an injury -- anything from a concussion to a strain or sprain, according to the report. Most (about 96 percent) said the World Trade Center was their usual place of work.

Certain demographic factors seemed to raise survivors' chances for PTSD -- lower-income individuals were at higher risk than more affluent survivors, and blacks and Hispanics faced higher odds for PTSD than did whites.

And while the study looked at survivors' mental health two to three years after the disaster, the impact of the 9/11 attacks may well last even longer.

"As the long-term effects of the WTC disaster emerge, the results from this study suggest that some survivors of the WTC disaster will continue to report psychological symptoms years after their exposure to the events of 9/11," study senior author Dr. Sandro Galea, chair of the department of epidemiology at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health, said in the news release.

More information

The National Center for PTSD has more on this condition.

-- E.J. Mundell

SOURCE: Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, news release, Jan. 7, 2011


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