Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by the onset of psychiatric symptoms immediately following exposure to a traumatic event that involve actual or threatened death or injury or threats to the physical integrity of oneself or others. Among high risk groups whose members experienced traumatic events, the lifetime prevalence rate ranges from 5 to 75 percent .
Individual with PTSD shows symptoms in three domains: Re-experiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal. PTSD is an abnormal physiologic and psychological reaction in person with severe traumatic history. PTSD has two types, acute and chronic. Patients in acute form begin the symptoms for less than three months, while in chronic type, they have been diagnosed for more than three months. Sometimes PTSD can occur with a delayed start and symptoms appear six months or many years after the accident. Clinicians must also consider individuals preexisting biological and psychological factors and events that happened before and after the trauma .
Relationship between PTSD and other diseases like cardiovascular problems and diabetes have been reported [3, 4]. Genetic has a very important role in getting PTSD . There are some genetic relations between PTSD and stress disorders, nicotine and alcohol addiction and drug abuse .
The risk of PTSD after a severe environmental stressor is 8% and 20% in men and women, respectively. The prevalence of PTSD is much more in persons with history of experiencing war .
The predisposing factors for PTSD in soldiers are unstable families, being punished in childhood, and depression before getting into army. Preventing factors for them are high educational level, being older when they get into army, higher socioeconomic level, good family relations, and good social support .
Stress may lead to release some hormones which can reduce the activity of hypothalamus that have a role in PTSD . Lots of PTSD patients show lower levels of cortisol and higher levels of catecholamine in urine . These facts can show some malfunctions in hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis during the PTSD .
Patients with PTSD have lower levels of serotonin that it can lead to some PTSD symptoms like anxiety, anger, sensitivity, impulsive moves, and suicidal thoughts .
PTSD is diagnosed by diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 4th edition, text revision (DSMIV-TR) criteria. The prevalence of PTSD has been increasing during recent years . In Iran, because of the war and other traumatic events, PTSD has a high prevalence. PTSD can cause a chronic inflammatory status in body that can lead to immune system problems and higher risk of some other diseases like metabolic syndrome, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, chronic infections, and diabetes [13, 14].
Metabolic syndrome is described by a bunch of symptoms such as high blood pressure, obesity, dyslipidemia, and glucose intolerance. Therefore, it is one of the main risk factors for diabetes type 2 and cardiovascular diseases [15, 16]. Metabolic syndrome has a high prevalence in Middle East and its diagnosing in early stages is very important. According to international diabetes federation (IDF) criteria, metabolic syndrome includes waist circumference ≥ 90 cm plus two or more of these parameters : triglyceride (TG) ≥ 150 mg/dl, fasting blood sugar (FBS) ≥ 100 mg/dl, high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) < 40 mg/dl, diastolic blood pressure (DIABP) ≥ 85, and systolic blood pressure (SYSBP) ≥ 130 .
In this study, we have collected information including metabolic syndrome parameters, mental health status, medical history, and demographic information in PTSD patients and compared them with the control group.