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Peri-traumatic nausea predicts PTSD symptom development

01 Dec 2018
Mind training is the key to prevent PTSD among emergency responders handling trauma cases

Peri-traumatic nausea correlates with a prospective risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom development, a study has shown.

“Further studies are needed to determine the mechanistic role of nausea as an intermediate phenotype of PTSD risk,” the investigators said.

Participants were recruited from the following locations: the emergency departments (ED) at Grady Memorial Hospital (GMH; n=363), from multiple other ED sites in the TRYUMPH Research Network (n=1,846) and from the ED during evaluation for suspected acute coronary syndrome in the REACH cohort (n=758).

The investigators used the administration of IV ondansetron, the most predominantly used antiemetic at GMH, as a surrogate marker for nausea in the initial GMH cohort. Then, they directly evaluated nausea in the internal validation at GMH and within the replication TRYUMPH Research Network and REACH cohorts.

In adjusted models, an association was observed between ondansetron administration and increased 1- and 3-month PTSD symptoms in the GMH cohort (p<0.05 for all). Nausea was a significant predictor of 1- (n=68; p=0.009) and 3-month (n=54; p=0.029) PTSD symptoms in the GMH internal validation.

In the TRYUMPH cohort, nausea significantly correlated with increased PTSD symptoms in adjusted models (p=0.009), while peri-traumatic nausea in the REACH cohort correlated with PTSH symptom severity at the 1-month follow-up in adjusted models (p≤0.008).

“While nausea often develops following exposure to trauma, little is known regarding the relationship between peri-traumatic nausea and prospective risk for developing PTSD,” the investigators noted.

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