Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been linked to a host of negative consequences for both emotional and physical health. In this chapter, we review the literature on the epigenetics of PTSD and interpret findings through the lens of understanding the implications for adverse physical health outcomes. We evaluate the results of epigenome-wide association studies of PTSD and examine the physiological systems implicated by top hits. In addition, we review how the literature on PTSD and epigenetic aging—a DNA methylation-based aging metric—may shed light on processes of accelerated aging at the cellular level after trauma. Finally, we discuss future directions for the field as it continues to incorporate epigenetic information into research on PTSD and physical health. Understanding the epigenetic changes associated with PTSD has implications for assessment, prevention, and treatment of both posttraumatic psychopathology and the physical health of afflicted individuals.
Epigenetics of Stress and Stress Disorders, Volume 31 in Translational Epigenetics, 2022, Pages 137-162,