Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Chronic Pain Conditions in Men: A Twin Study.

Published on Dec 15, 2020in Psychosomatic Medicine3.702
· DOI :10.1097/PSY.0000000000000899
Marianna Gasperi4
Estimated H-index: 4
(UCSD: University of California, San Diego),
Matthew S. Panizzon35
Estimated H-index: 35
+ 2 AuthorsNiloofar Afari34
Estimated H-index: 34
OBJECTIVE Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is highly comorbid with chronic pain conditions that often co-occur such as migraine headaches, temporomandibular disorder, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome, and tension headaches. Using a genetically informative sample, the current study evaluated the genetic and environmental factors contributing to the co-occurrence of PTSD and chronic pain conditions. METHODS Data from 4680 male twins in the Vietnam Era Twin Registry were examined. Biometric modeling was used to estimate genetic and environmental variance components and genetic and environmental correlations between PTSD and multiple chronic pain conditions. RESULTS Heritabilities were estimated at 43% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 15%-63%) for PTSD and 34% (95% CI = 27%-41%) for the combined history of any one or more pain condition. Specific pain condition heritabilities ranged from 15% (95% CI = 0%-48%) for tension headaches to 41% (95% CI = 27%-54%) for migraine headaches. Environmental influences accounted for the remaining variance in pain conditions. The genetic correlation between PTSD and combined history of any one or more pain condition was rg= 0.61 (95% CI = 0.46-0.89) and ranged for individual pain conditions from rg= 0.44 (95% CI = 0.24-0.77) for migraine headache to rg= 0.75 (95% CI = 0.52-1.00) for tension headaches. CONCLUSIONS PTSD and chronic pain conditions are highly comorbid, and this relationship can be explained by both genetic and environmental overlap. The precise mechanisms underlying these relationships are likely diverse and multifactorial.
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