PTSD and somatization in women treated at a VA primary care clinic

Psychosomatics. Jul-Aug 2004;45(4):291-6. doi: 10.1176/appi.psy.45.4.291.


The authors examined the association between trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and somatization in 264 women attending a Department of Veterans Affairs primary care clinic. Using a structured computerized interview (Composite International Diagnostic Interview), they found that traumatic events were reported by 81% of the women. The lifetime prevalence of PTSD was 27%; for somatization it was 19%. PTSD was the best predictor of somatization after control for demographic variables, veteran status, and other mood and anxiety disorders. Psychological numbing symptoms of PTSD emerged as a particularly strong predictor of somatization. The link between PTSD and somatization deserves further study.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Veterans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Somatoform Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • United States / epidemiology