Mental health status of World Trade Center tower survivors compared to other survivors a decade after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks
BACKGROUND: Studies of individuals directly exposed to the World Trade Center (WTC) terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have found increased risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and binge drinking (BD). No long-term studies have been conducted on one highly exposed group, WTC tower evacuees.
METHODS: The study sample included 7,695 adult civilians in the WTC Health Registry. Logistic regression was used to examine the odds of PTSD and BD in 1,946 towers evacuees compared to 5,749 others in nearby buildings or on the street.
RESULTS: WTC tower survivors were at increased risk for PTSD and BD compared to the others. Infrastructure and behavioral barriers experienced during evacuation were significantly associated with PTSD.
CONCLUSIONS: WTC tower evacuees are at increased risk for PTSD and BD. Understanding the effects of disaster-related evacuation barriers on the long-term mental health status of survivors can help in the planning of continuing post-disaster treatment. Am. J. Ind. Med. 59:742-751, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.