Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, PTSD / 21.08.2019 Interview with: Jeff Scherrer, Ph.D. Associate professor; Research director Department of Family and Community Medicine Saint Louis University Center for Health Outcomes Research What is the background for this study? Response: This study was part of a larger NIH grant to determine if PTSD is associated with poor health behaviors and subsequently whether PTSD remains an independent risk factor for diabetes and heart disease.  Our second focus of the grant was to measure if those patients who experience clinically meaningful PTSD improvement have improved health behaviors (e.g. seeking help to lose weight) and a lower risk for diabetes and heart disease. The rationale for this study of PTSD improvement and lower risk for diabetes is supported from other investigators' findings that PTSD treatment completion is often followed by improvement in sleep, depression, pain and general physical complaints and lower blood pressure.  Because we have found the association between PTSD and incident diabetes is largely explained by obesity, depression and other comorbid conditions that are more common in patients with vs. without PTSD, we hypothesized that improvements in PTSD would be associated with lower risk of diabetes either directly or due to improvements in these comorbid diabetes risk factors. (more…)