(HealthDay News) — Women with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) seem more likely than others to develop type 2 diabetes, with severe PTSD almost doubling the risk, new research suggests. The study appears online January 7 in JAMA Psychiatry.

The new study followed 49,739 female nurses from 1989–2008 – aged 24–42 at the beginning – and tracked weight, smoking, exposure to trauma, PTSD symptoms, and type 2 diabetes.

Over the course of the study, 3,091 of the nurses, or 6.2%, developed type 2 diabetes, which is linked to being overweight and sedentary. Those with the most PTSD symptoms were almost twice as likely to develop diabetes as those without PTSD, study coauthor Karestan Koenen, PhD, professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, told HealthDay.

Use of antidepressants and higher body weight accounted for almost half the increased risk, Koenen said. “The antidepressant finding was surprising because as far as we know, no one has shown it before,” she said. “Much more research needs to be done to determine what the finding means.”

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