No evidence for an association of posttraumatic stress disorder with circulating levels of CRP and IL-18 in a population-based study.

Baumert, Jens; Lukaschek, Karoline; Kruse, Johannes; Emeny, Rebecca Thwing; Koenig, Wolfgang; von Känel, Roland; Ladwig, Karl-Heinz; KORA, Investigators (2013). No evidence for an association of posttraumatic stress disorder with circulating levels of CRP and IL-18 in a population-based study. Cytokine, 63(2), pp. 201-208. Saunders 10.1016/j.cyto.2013.04.033

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Several studies have shown associations of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with the development of cardiometabolic diseases. The underlying psychopathological mechanisms, including potential links to inflammatory processes, have been discussed but remain elusive. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the association of PTSD symptoms with the inflammatory biomarkers C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-18 (IL-18). The study population consisted of 3012 participants aged 32-81years drawn from the population-based KORA F4 study conducted in 2006-08 in the Augsburg region (Southern Germany). PTSD symptoms were measured by the Impact of Event Scale, the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale and interview data and classified as no, partial or full PTSD. The associations of PTSD with CRP and IL-18 concentrations were estimated by multiple regression analyses with adjustments for age, sex and cardiometabolic risk factors. Linear regression analyses showed no significant association between PTSD and CRP or IL-18 concentration: adjusted for age and sex, the geometric mean concentrations in participants with full PTSD was for CRP 9% lower and for IL-18 1% higher than in participants with no PTSD (p values 0.53 and 0.89). However, further analyses indicated that individuals with partial PTSD had an increased chance of belonging to the highest quartile of the IL-18 concentration. No significant association was observed for any of the three subscales intrusion, avoidance or hyperarousal with CRP or IL-18 concentration. This large, population-based study could not find an association of full PTSD with CRP and IL-18 concentrations. Further research is needed to analyse these relationships.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology > Centre of Competence for Psychosomatic Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

von Känel, Roland


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Annette Barbara Kocher

Date Deposited:

13 Jun 2014 12:02

Last Modified:

26 Oct 2015 11:21

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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