Food and Behaviour Research

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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in mid-age and older adults differs by immigrant status and ethnicity, nutrition, and other determinants of health in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA)

Davison K, Hyland C, West M, Lin S, Tong H, Kobayashi K, Fuller-Thomson E (2021) Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology doi: 10.1007/s00127-020-02003-7. Online ahead of print.  

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Purpose: This study aimed to address knowledge gaps about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in mid-age and older adults, with particular attention to the relationship of PTSD with nutrition and with ethnicity and immigrant status.

Methods: Binary logistic regression analysis of weighted comprehensive cohort data from the baseline Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA; n = 27,211) was conducted using the four-item Primary Care-PTSD tool (outcome) and immigrant status by ethnicity (Canadian-born white, Canadian-born minority, immigrant white, immigrant minority). Covariates included various social, economic, nutrition and health-related variables.

Results: After controlling for socioeconomic and health variables, immigrants from minority groups had significantly higher odds of PTSD compared to their Canadian-born counterparts, whereas white immigrants had lower odds of PTSD. These relationships were significantly robust across seven cluster-based regression models. After adjusting for ethnicity/immigrant status, the odds of PTSD were higher among those earning lower household incomes, widowed, divorced, or separated respondents, ever smokers, and those who had multi-morbidities, chronic pain, high nutritional risk, or who reported daily consumptions of pastries, pulses and nuts, or chocolate. Conversely, those 55 years and over, who had high waist-to-height ratio, or who consumed 2-3 fiber sources daily had significantly lower odds of PTSD.


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