Post-traumatic stress disorder and risk of dementia among members of a health care delivery system

Jason D. Flatt, Paola Gilsanz, Charles P. Quesenberry, Kathleen B. Albers, Rachel Whitmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Introduction Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with an increased risk of dementia in male veterans, but little is known in females and civilians. Methods PTSD and comorbidities were abstracted from medical records from 1/1/1996 to 12/31/2001. Dementia incidence from 1/1/2002 to 12/31/2014 in 499,844 health care members aged 60+ years over an average of 8.2 years. Cox proportional hazard models were adjusted for age, demographics, and comorbidities. Results PTSD was associated with increased risk of dementia over an average of 8 years of follow-up (females: hazard ratio [HR] = 1.59, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.30–1.95; males: HR = 1.96, 95% CI = 1.51–2.55). There was a two-fold risk of dementia in those with both PTSD and depression (females: HR = 2.08; 95% CI = 1.66–2.59; males: HR = 2.06; 95% CI = 1.47–2.91) versus those without. Discussion PTSD was a risk factor for dementia in both sexes, with a heightened risk in those with comorbid depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-34
Number of pages7
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Dementia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • PTSD
  • Sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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