‘Unlearning fear’: Why women are twice as likely to experience PTSD

Image: Wikimedia
[W]omen — both civilians and women from the military — are more than twice as likely as men to suffer from PTSD. It affects nearly 10 out of every 100 women — compared with fewer than 4 out of every 100 men, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD.

“It is an issue for girls and women across their life span,” says Janine Clayton, director of the office of research on women’s health at the National Institutes of Health.

Women also may have more trouble than men “unlearning” fear, a process known as “fear extinction,” says [psychiatrist] Edna Foa.

Related article:  Do men and women feel pain differently? The answer could lead to better treatments for chronic pain

Genetics, too, may influence the development of PTSD. [Researcher Karestan] Koenen is leading a large study seeking to identify genetic differences among people, both men and women, who have PTSD and those who don’t.

In a first step, the researchers reported a strong genetic component to PTSD, identifying six genomic regions associated with the disease, although these differences were present only in men. The scientists are continuing to search for other genetic clues, including those specific to women.

Read full, original post: Women are more than twice as likely as men to suffer from PTSD. Studies are underway to find out why

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