Prevalence of DMS-5 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the United States

"Past-year (4.7%) and lifetime (6.1%) prevalences of DSM-5 PTSD represent 10,972,986 and 14,411,005 affected U.S. adults, respectively. Broadly consistent with previous findings [3, 4, 42, 43], prevalences were higher among women and respondents aged <65 years, previously married, and with <high school education and household income <$70,000. Rates were also higher among Native American, but lower among Asian and Pacific Islander and Hispanic, versus non-Hispanic white, respondents, and lower among urban than rural residents. Past-year PTSD was less likely among Midwestern than Western residents. Taken together, these results indicate the need to characterize risk and protective factors, and underlying mechanisms, related to sociodemographic characteristics to improve understanding of the etiologies of both exposure to PTEs and PTSD and tailor prevention and intervention appropriately to subgroups at risk [3, 43].

"In the total NESARC-III sample, lifetime prevalence of PTE exposure (68.6%) was higher than reported by Kessler et al. [42] based on DSM-III-R criteria, but lower than those in recent studies [3, 22, 44, 45] based on DSM-IV, including Wave 2 of the NESARC. These differences likely reflect the broader range of qualifying events in DSM-IV than DSM-III-R or DSM-5. Nevertheless, rank-orderings of the most common exposures, particularly among respondents with PTSD, and differences by sex, were generally similar to those reported previously [4, 42–44]."


Goldstein RB, Smith SM, Chou SP, et al. The Epidemiology of DSM-5 Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in the United States: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology. 2016;51(8):1137-1148. doi:10.1007/s00127-016-1208-5.