- Clinically meaningful reductions in symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D).
- A decrease in PTSD Checklist (PCL) score, via treatment or spontaneous improvement, may help mitigate the T2D risk in patients with PTSD.
Why this matters
- PTSD is associated with increased T2D risk.
- Retrospective analysis of Veterans Health Affairs medical records for 1598 patients (84.3% male) who received PTSD specialty care during 2008-2012, followed for 2-6 years.
- All had baseline PCL scores ≥50.
- Clinically meaningful improvement defined as ≥20-point PCL score decrease vs less/no improvement (
- Funding: NIH.
- Clinically meaningful PCL decreases occurred in 339 (21.2%) participants and less-than-clinically-meaningful change occurred in 1259 (78.8%).
- Age-adjusted T2D incidence was significantly lower in the group with vs without clinically meaningful PCL score decreases (7.3 vs 16.0 per 1000 person-years; P=.005).
- HR for T2D with meaningful vs nonmeaningful PCL score decrease was 0.50 (P=.02), remaining significant after adjustment for age (0.45; P=.01) and for multiple additional covariates (0.51; P=.04).
- Possible unmeasured confounding.
- Insufficient follow-up time.
- Types of trauma not analyzed.
- Results may not be generalizable to nonveteran populations.