A new study suggests that women suffering from PTSD may be more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Published in JAMA Psychiatry, it was one of the first longitudinal studies on PTSD and type 2 diabetes, examining almost 50,000 participants over 22 years.
The study found that women experiencing symptoms of PTSD may have double the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Experiencing a traumatic event triggers PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, and the study estimates that 10.4% of American women will have the condition at some point in their lives.
According to the researchers’ findings, women exhibiting more symptoms of PTSD have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. For example, 4.6 women in 1,000 demonstrating six to seven PTSD symptoms developed diabetes; but 3.7 women in 1,000 demonstrating only one to three PTSD symptoms got the disease. Researchers have looked to higher BMI and antidepressant use among PTSD patients as a cause for almost half of this increased diabetes risk.
The authors of the study believe their conclusions could lead to valuable future research. Most importantly they believe the study gives the best evidence so far that PTSD symptoms could be a direct cause of the incidence of type 2 diabetes.