Epidemiology of trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder in Mexico

J Abnorm Psychol. 2003 Nov;112(4):646-56. doi: 10.1037/0021-843X.112.4.646.


Prevalence rates of trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were estimated from a probability sample of 2,509 adults from 4 cities in Mexico. PTSD was assessed according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 1994) criteria using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI; WHO, 1997). Lifetime prevalence of exposure and PTSD were 76% and 11.2%, respectively. Risk for PTSD was highest in Oaxaca (the poorest city), persons of lower socioeconomic status, and women. Conditional risk for PTSD was highest following sexual violence, but nonsexual violence and traumatic bereavement had greater overall impact because of their frequency. Of lifetime cases, 62% became chronic; only 42% received medical or professional care. The research demonstrates the importance of expanding the epidemiologic research base on trauma to include developing countries around the world.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • Mexico / ethnology
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*