Blog | Thursday, September 11, 2008

New 9/11 PTSD estimates


September 11-linked asthma has gotten a fair amount of press, but here's something that hasn't: PTSD.

The NYC Dept. of Health released an estimate yesterday that as many as 70,000 New Yorkers may have PTSD due to the terrorist attacks on their city, the Washington Post reports. These are folks, like rescue and recovery workers, commuters, and lower Manhattan residents, who were heavily exposed to pollution from the disaster (up to 12,600 of whom may have asthma, by the way.)

For tips on how to spot, and treat, PTSD in patients, see our cover story in the September ACP Internist, which focuses on returning veterans. Combat-related PTSD-- which often involves multiple exposures to traumatic events-- differs in some ways from PTSD borne of a single event (like 9/11), but they still have much in common. And, unfortunately, PTSD itself is a lot more common than most people know.