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Type: Journal article
Title: Health surveillance of deployed military personnel occasionally leads to unexpected findings
Author: McFarlane, A.
Citation: BMC Medicine, 2012; 10(126):1-3
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 1741-7015
Statement of
Alexander C McFarlane
Abstract: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be caused by life threatening illness, such as cancer and coronary events. The study by Forbes et al. made the unexpected finding that military personnel evacuation with medical illness have similar rates of PTSD to those evacuated with combat injuries. It may be that the illness acts as a nonspecific stressor that interacts with combat exposures to increase the risk of PTSD. Conversely, the inflammatory consequence of systemic illness may augment the effects to traumatic stress and facilitate the immunological abnormalities that are now being associated with PTSD and depression. The impact of the stress on cytokine systems and their role in the onset of PTSD demands further investigation. Military personnel evacuated due to physical illness require similar screening and monitoring for the risk of PTSD to those injured who are already known to be at high risk.
Keywords: PTSD; inflammation; physical illness; cytokines; allostatic load; sensitization; combat; military
Rights: © 2012 McFarlane; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
RMID: 0020127543
DOI: 10.1186/1741-7015-10-126
Appears in Collections:Psychiatry publications

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