One in Eight Lower Manhattan Residents Had Signs of PTSD Years After 9/11

Friday, June 13th, 2008
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

For many residents of Lower Manhattan, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, had lasting psychological consequences. New findings released by the Health Department’s World Trade Center Health Registry show that one in eight Lower Manhattan residents likely had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) two to three years after the attacks. This new study — based on surveys of 11,000 residents through the World Trade Center Health Registry — is the first to measure the attack’s long-term effect on the mental health of community members.

  • Lower Manhattan residents developed PTSD at three times the usual rate in the years following 9/11. The rate among residents (12.6 percent) matched the rate previously reported among rescue and recovery workers (12.4 percent).
  • Aside from injured residents — 38 percent of whom developed symptoms of PTSD — the most affected groups were those who witnessed violent deaths and those caught in the dust cloud after the towers collapsed. Roughly 17 percent suffered PTSD in each of those groups. The symptoms most commonly reported were hyper-vigilance, nightmares and emotional reactions to reminders of 9/11.

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