Longitudinal outcomes following stress or trauma diagnoses are receiving attention, yet population-based studies are few. The aims of the present cohort study were to examine the cumulative incidence of traumatic events and psychiatric diagnoses following diagnoses of severe stress and adjustment disorders categorized using International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, codes and to examine associations of these diagnoses with all-cause mortality and suicide. Data came from a longitudinal cohort of all Danes who received a diagnosis of reaction to severe stress or adjustment disorders (International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, code F43.x) between 1995 and 2011, and they were compared with data from a general-population cohort. Cumulative incidence curves were plotted to examine traumatic experiences and psychiatric diagnoses during the study period. A Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to examine the associations of the disorders with mortality and suicide. Participants with stress diagnoses had a higher incidence of traumatic events and psychiatric diagnoses than did the comparison group. Each disorder was associated with a higher rate of all-cause mortality than that seen in the comparison cohort, and strong associations with suicide were found after adjustment. This study provides a comprehensive assessment of the associations of stress disorders with a variety of outcomes, and we found that stress diagnoses may have long-lasting and potentially severe consequences.
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