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The effect of trauma and PTSD on telomere length: An exploratory study in people exposed to combat trauma

 Tae Yong Kim  ;  Se Joo Kim  ;  Jong Rak Choi  ;  Seung-Tae Lee  ;  Jieun Kim  ;  In Sik Hwang  ;  Hae Gyung Chung  ;  Jin Hee Choi  ;  Hae Won Kim  ;  Se Hyun Kim  ;  Jee In Kang 
 Scientific Reports, Vol.7(1) : 4375, 2017 
Journal Title
 Scientific Reports 
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Telomere length has been suggested to be a cellular marker for age-related diseases as well as psychosocial stress. The present study investigated whether telomere length is associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among veterans exposed to combat trauma in the Vietnam War. The potentially associated factors on cellular aging were considered. Korean male veterans with (n = 122) and without (n = 120) PTSD were included and leukocyte telomere length was measured with a quantitative PCR-based technique. As a whole, no significant difference in telomere length was found between PTSD and non-PTSD groups. In linear regression analysis stratified by trauma levels, among veterans exposed to severe combat (n = 45), PTSD status (B = -1.176, t = -2.259, p = 0.029), antidepressant use (B = 0.168, t = 2.528, p = 0.015), and education level (B = 0.019, t = 2.369, p = 0.023) affected telomere length. However, among veterans with light-to-moderate combat exposure (n = 197), only age (B = -0.007, t = -2.434, p = 0.016) and education level (B = 0.010, t = 2.295, p = 0.023) were associated with telomere length. In the Post-hoc analysis, antidepressant use was associated with longer telomere length in subjects exposed to severe combat. Our exploratory results suggest that PTSD status in combination with severe trauma may be associated with accelerated telomere shortening, and that antidepressant use may have a protective effect on telomere dynamics.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Psychiatry (정신과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Laboratory Medicine (진단검사의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
강지인(Kang, Jee In) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2818-7183
김세주(Kim, Se Joo) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5438-8210
김혜원(Kim, Hae Won) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9321-8361
이승태(Lee, Seung-Tae) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1047-1415
최종락(Choi, Jong Rak) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0608-2989
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