Objective: Several studies demonstrated changes in serum lipid concentrations in chronic post traumatic stress disorder (cPTSD) patients. The purpose of this study was to assess serum lipid concentrations in soldiers with cPTSD and compare it with chronic major depressive disorder (cMDD) patients.
Methods: We measured serum lipid concentrations in patients with cPTSD (n=40) and cMDD (n=40) and compared the results. The patients were all male (30-48 years old) and had an illness history of more than 2 years prior to conducting the study. The groups were matched regarding their body mass index (BMI) and duration of symptoms. Laboratory investigations and psychiatric evaluations were carried-out 5 days after admission. Serum lipid concentrations were measured by enzyme assay (EA).
Results: cPTSD group showed significantly greater mean cholesterol concentrations (227.3 ± 69.7 mg/dL) than the cMDD group (190.7 ± 35.4 mg/dL) (p=0.004). Mean high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations for cPTSD patients (66.6 ± 17.6 mg/dl) was significantly lower than HDL-C level in cMDD patients (76.5 ± 19.7 mg/dL) (p= 0.02). In contrast, mean low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) concentrations for cPTSD patients (118.9 ± 60.1 mg/dL) was significantly higher than LDL-C level in cMDD patients (76.5 ± 25.2 mg/dL) (p= 0.000). Although similar differences was noticed on triglycerides concentration (cPTSD; 220.2 ± 79.0 and cMDD; 201.0 ± 61.8), it was statistically non-significant (p= 0.23).
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that cPTSD patients are at high risk of developing arteriosclerosis and vascular incident secondary to low levels of HDL-C and high levels of LDL-C.
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