Demographic, military, and health comorbidity variables by mild TBI and PTSD status in the LIMBIC-CENC cohort

Maya E. O’Neil, Amma Agyemang, William C. Walker, Terri K. Pogoda, Daniel W. Klyce, Paul B. Perrin, Nancy H. Hsu, Huong Nguyen, Angela P. Presson, David X. Cifu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To describe associations of demographic, military, and health comorbidity variables between mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) history and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) status in a sample of Former and current military personnel. Setting: Participants recruited and tested at seven VA sites and one military training facility in the LIMBIC-CENC prospective longitudinal study (PLS), which examines the long-term mental health, neurologic, and cognitive outcomes among previously combat-deployed U.S. Service Members and Veterans (SM/Vs). Participants: A total of 1,540 SM/Vs with a history of combat exposure. Data were collected between 1/1/2015 through 3/31/2019. Design: Cross-sectional analysis using data collected at enrollment into the longitudinal study cohort examining demographic, military, and health comorbidity variables across PTSD and mTBI subgroups. Main Measures: PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5), mTBI diagnostic status, Patient Health Questionnaire 9-item (PHQ-9), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), AUDIT-C, and other self-reported demographic, military, and health comorbidity variables. Results: Ten years following an index date of mTBI exposure or mid-point of military deployment, combat-exposed SM/Vs with both mTBI history and PTSD had the highest rates of depression symptoms, pain, and sleep apnea risk relative to SM/Vs without both of these conditions. SM/Vs with PTSD, irrespective of mTBI history, had high rates of obesity, sleep problems, and pain. Conclusion: The long-term symptom reporting and health comorbidities among SM/Vs with mTBI history and PTSD suggest that ongoing monitoring and intervention is critical for addressing symptoms and improving quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)598-606
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2022


  • Mild traumatic brain injury
  • Veterans
  • combat exposure
  • military service members
  • post-concussive symptoms
  • posttraumatic stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology


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