Women who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are almost twice as likely to develop type-2 diabetes, according to public health scientists at Columbia University and Harvard University.
Researchers analyzed data based on surveys given to nearly 50,000 US women from 1989 to 2011 and found that about half the increased risk for diabetes was attributable to the use of antidepressants (34 percent) and overeating, as measured by elevated body mass index (14 percent). However, the other half of the heightened risk could not be explained, and researchers ruled out potential links to smoking, diet, alcohol intake or exercise. The study also found that the more symptoms of PTSD a woman had, the higher her risk of developing type-2 diabetes. About one in nine women had experienced PTSD at some point.
Senior author of the study Karestan Koenen said, "Not only is PTSD devastating to mental health, but it affects physical health too, raising risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity." Researchers urged healthcare professionals to lookout for signs of diabetes in women who have endured traumatic events.
The research was published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.