Large PTSD Improvement associated with Improved Health Behavior and Lower Risk for Diabetes
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is associated with poor health behaviors such as heavy alcohol use, smoking and treatment non-adherence. PTSD is also associated with increased risk for cardiometabolic disease such as type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular conditions. Patients who complete evidence based psychotherapy have improvements in depression, sleep and self-reported physical health. We used a cohort of nearly 6,000 Veterans Health Affairs (VA) patient medical record data to determine if clinically meaningful PTSD improvement was associated with increased likelihood of medication adherence, use of diet and nutrition services and lower risk for T2D compared to less than clinically meaningful PTSD improvement. Our analysis, which included robust control for confounding, indicated PTSD improvement is associated with increased likelihood of medication adherence, greater use of diet and nutrition counseling and substantially lower risk for incident T2D. Potential mechanisms and future directions will be discussed.
Learning Objective 1: Attendees will be able to describe the health outcomes in patients with PTSD.
Learning Objective 2: Attendees will understand the evidence supporting an association between PTSD improvement and improved health behaviors.
Learning Objective 3: Attendees will understand the evidence supporting an association between PTSD improvement and reduced risk for incident type 2 diabetes.
Jeffrey Scherrer, PhD is Professor and Director of the Division of Research in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Saint Louis University (SLU). Dr. Scherrer has been an NIH funded investigator for two decades and has over 150 peer reviewed publications. Prior to joining the faculty at SLU in 2013, he was faculty in the Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine where he researched genetic and environmental contributions to psychiatric disorders. Since 2008 he has focused his research in clinical epidemiologic studies designed to determine the association between common psychiatric disorders and risk for adverse health outcomes. Most recently, he has led a national team of VA and academic investigators in a series of studies that demonstrate large improvements in PTSD are associated with improved health behaviors and reduced risk for cardiometabolic disease (R01HL125424).