The Particulars: Nearly 8 million Americans have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to NIH data. Previous research suggests that the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is higher in patients with PTSD than in others. Little is known about the effect of PTSD on insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, two key components to diabetes and CVD.

Data Breakdown: In a retrospective study, researchers analyzed data on 207,954 patients in a VA database to determine whether PTSD patients also had a higher incidence of risk factors for CVD. None had coronary artery disease or diabetes at baseline, and 11,420 patients had PTSD. At 2 years follow-up, 34.8% of patients with PTSD had insulin resistance, compared with a 19.3% rate for patients without PTSD. Similarly, significantly more patients with PTSD had metabolic syndrome compared with patients without PTSD (52.5% vs 37.3%).

Take Home Pearls: Patients diagnosed with PTSD appear to have a higher incidence of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome than those without the disorder. In turn, PTSD may increase the risk of diabetes and CVD.