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New evidence suggests PTSD affects women more

This is Science Today. Traumatic stress increases the risk for chronic diseases of aging. Now, new evidence suggests that women are at greater risk for post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, than men. Researcher Aoife O'Donovan of the University of California, San Francisco says while there have been ongoing studies looking into the relationship between stress and aging at a cellular level, researchers did not start out with an interest in gender differences.

O'Donovan:   So, we now have some preliminary evidence suggesting that there may be gender differences in biological responses to stress. And what we need to do is understand if those differences really exist, and if they do, whether they suggest that we should target our treatments to men and women. 

Narrator:        O'Donovan says the next steps are looking at the specific types of stress that are more common in women, the effects of male and female hormones in this process and whether there are treatment options that are more appropriate for men and women. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.