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Body-mass index and abdominal circumference in young patients with posttraumatic stress disorder after sexual assault

Grant number: 19/12629-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2019
Effective date (End): July 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Psychiatry
Principal researcher:Marcelo Feijó de Mello
Grantee:Bianca Di Mauro Pedro
Home Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/12559-5 - Posttraumatic stress disorder and neuroprogression: new approaches to understand the effects of violence on mental functioning, AP.TEM


Visceral fat, evaluated through the measurement of the waist circumference and body-mass index is a marker for mortality risk, by the reduction of life expectancy, and by the presence of metabolic diseases. The present evidence shows that patients with psychiatric diseases have a smaller life expectancy, and metabolic diseases are more prevalent when compared to the general population. Studies with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) often had more men in their samples, many of them with veterans that have a chronic PTSD, and the psychoactive substance use disorder is a common comorbidity. In the present study, young women, controls, and patients with PTSD after a sexual assault composed the sample. Being young and having not a chronic PTSD decreased the bias for metabolic disorders. We evaluate data from a cohort of a big thematic project. The hypothesis is that the anthropometric and biomarker data from patients with PTSD indicated a high risk of metabolic disorders. The data were: higher BMI, higher abdominal circumference, increase on heart rate, and blood pressure, and higher levels of salivary cortisol, plasmatic ACTH, and PCR.

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