Journal of Traumatic Stress Disorders & TreatmentISSN: 2324-8947

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Ethnic and Sex Comparison of PTSD Comorbidities in Israel: Anxiety and Depression Rates among Muslims, Druze, and Christians

Abstract Objective: The Arab population in Israel is comprised of diverse ethnic groups, primarily Muslims, Druze, and Christians, each with unique characteristics. However, previous research involving Posttraumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD) and its associated comorbidities regarded the Arab population homogeneously. This study explored the ethnic and sex differences in comorbidity rates among post-war Posttraumatic Israeli Muslims, Druze and Christians. Material and Method: 62 participants; 20 men & 42 women (12 Druze, 40 Muslims & 10 Christians), aged 18-69, were assessed by a Structured Clinical Psychiatric Interview and self-report questionnaires. Results: Women dominated (66.7%) chronic PTSD. Overall comorbidity rates of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) were very high (96%). Comorbidities rates comparison between different ethnicities found that Muslim population exhibited the highest comorbidity rates across all comorbidity types. Specifically, Muslim women displayed higher GAD rates than Druze women, while Druze women displayed higher MDD rates than their Muslim and Christian counterparts. Additionally, Muslim women had higher MDD rates than Christian women. Conclusion: Different ethnic groups suffering from PTSD, exhibit distinctive comorbidity distributions of GAD and MDD. We suggest that further studies should take into consideration the groups’ distinctive cultural characteristics and avoid regarding the Arab population homogeneously. Thus, tailored personalized mental health interventions are needed to meet the distinct and unique requirements of each ethnic group in sex-depended manner. Keywords Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); Ethnicities; Comorbidity; Major Depression Disorder (MDD); Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD); Arabs; Sex differences.

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