PTSD Among Service Members Linked to Diabetes Risk

However, deployment is not significantly associated with higher risk of diabetes at follow-up

THURSDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- In members of the U.S. military, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with a higher risk of later self-reported diabetes, according to research published in the August issue of Diabetes Care.

Edward J. Boyko, M.D., of the Department of Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle, and colleagues analyzed data from 44,754 service members in the Millennium Cohort Study, an ongoing study which assesses health outcomes linked to military service. Subjects completed questionnaires at baseline and at three-year follow-up.

The researchers found that PTSD at baseline was associated with a higher risk of diabetes (odds ratio, 2.07). Other factors associated with higher risk included older age, higher body mass index, and separating from the military between baseline and follow-up. Being deployed since September 2001, with or without exposure to combat, was not significantly associated with greater diabetes risk.

"In summary, we found that symptoms of PTSD but not depression were independently associated with an increased risk of diabetes in military service members. To our knowledge this is the first report of a prospective association between PTSD and diabetes, and confirmation by additional research is needed," the authors conclude.

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