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Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder are at increased risk of developing dementia

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Is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associated with the risk of developing dementia among older US veterans?


181 093 veterans who were 55 years or older (average age 68.8 years; 96.5% male) treated at a Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare facility during the baseline period (1997–2000) who did not have dementia. Participants were identified using the VA National Patient Care Database. Participants had to have at least one visit in the follow-up period (2000–2007) to be eligible to participate. The study included all 53 155 veterans who had PTSD, did not die in the baseline period and met inclusion criteria, and 127 938 randomly selected veterans who did not have PTSD and met inclusion criteria.


VA healthcare system, USA; 1997–2007.

Prognostic factors

PTSD (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) diagnosis code 309.81 recorded on at least two visits in the baseline period). Analyses used age as the timescale and adjusted for age, race, gender, education and income in their zip code area of residence, medical and neuropsychiatric comorbidity at baseline, and number of visits to a VA …

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  • Source of funding US Department of Defense.


  • Competing interests None.

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