A STUDY has found that older veterans in Scotland have a slightly higher risk of type 2 diabetes than the general population.
This increased risk was greater for veterans who also have PTSD.
The study by the University of Glasgow in partnership with Forces in Mind Trust and published in BMJ Open compared veterans with people that have never served.
Previous studies have shown that PTSD creates a higher risk of diabetes, but this is the first that has shown the effect is stronger in veterans.
Lead researcher Dr Beverly Bergman, Honorary clinical associate professor and leader of the Scottish Veterans Health Research Group said: “This is the first study examining the risk of type 2 diabetes in veterans in Scotland.
“We found that overall, veterans had an 8% higher risk of diabetes than non-veterans, but we were surprised to find that one in eight veterans with severe PTSD also had diabetes,
“We believe that the excess risk may be linked to people with mental health disorders leading a less healthy lifestyle.
“Our findings emphasise the importance of veterans looking after their general health, especially if they are struggling with their mental health.”
The large study used data from the Trends in Scottish Veterans Health Study looked at 78,000 veterans and 253,000 non-veterans in Scotland.
The study used survival analysis to examine the risk of type two diabetes in veterans compared with non-veterans and explored associations with mental health disorders.
The study, ‘Type 2 Diabetes in Scottish Military Veterans: A Retrospective Cohort Study ’ is published in BMJ Open. The study was funded by Forces in Mind Trust.