PTSD in women increases risk of diabetes.

PTSDA study published in the JAMA Psychiatry journal has linked PTSD in women to a risk of developing . PTSD is statistically common with 1 in 10 women in the US experiencing PTSD at some point in their lifetime, and is triggered triggered by either experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event.

Symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks to the event, nightmares and severe anxiety. PTSD is also associated with several risk factors for , including inflammation, neuroendocrine dysfunction and poor diet.

The research participants in this study consisted of 49,739 participants from the Nurses’ II, examining the association between the symptoms of PTSD and incidence over the course of 22 years.

Of the 49,739 participants, a total of 3,091 women developed during the follow-up period. The researchers observed that women experiencing symptoms of PTSD were more likely to develop than participants who had not experienced a traumatic event.

According to the study findings the following rates of incidence were differentiated between different groups of participants:

Women with six to seven PTSD symptoms: 4.6 cases per 1,000 person-years
Women with four to five PTSD symptoms: 3.9 cases per 1,000 person-years
Women with one to three PTSD symptoms: 3.7 cases per 1,000 person-years
Women exposed to traumatic events but without PTSD symptoms: 2.8 cases per 1,000 person-years

Women unexposed to traumatic events: 2.1 cases per 1,000 person-years.

The researchers found that almost half of the increased risk of for women with PTSD was due to higher BMI and antidepressant use associated with PTSD. Conversely, smoking, diet, alcohol intake and did not further account for the increased risk.

The onset of diabetes was associated with PTSD in a dose-response fashion with the onset of ; women with the highest number of PTSD symptoms had a nearly 2-fold increased risk of compared with women without exposure to trauma.


Posttraumatic stress disorder and incidence of mellitus in a sample of women, Andrea L. Roberts, et al., JAMA Psychiatry, doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.2632, published online 7 January 2015, abstract.

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