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Most studies of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in low- and
middle-income countries (LMICs) have focused on ‘high-risk’ populations
defined by exposure to trauma.
To estimate the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a
LMIC, the conditional probability of PTSD given a traumatic event and the
strength of associations between traumatic events and other psychiatric
Our sample contained a mix of 3995 twins and 2019 non-twins. We asked
participants about nine different traumatic exposures, including the
category ‘other’, but excluding sexual trauma.
Traumatic events were reported by 36.3% of participants and lifetime PTSD
was present in 2.0%. Prevalence of non-PTSD lifetime diagnosis was 19.1%.
Of people who had experienced three or more traumatic events, 13.3% had
lifetime PTSD and 40.4% had a non-PTSD psychiatric diagnosis.
Despite high rates of exposure to trauma, this population had lower rates
of PTSD than high-income populations, although the prevalence might have
been slightly affected by the exclusion of sexual trauma. There are high
rates of non-PTSD diagnoses associated with trauma exposure that could be
considered in interventions for trauma-exposed populations. Our findings
suggest that there is no unique relationship between traumatic
experiences and the specific symptomatology of PTSD.