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February 28, 2016

Women with PTSD more likely to be Obese

Women who suffer from post-traumatic stress (PTSD) gain weight more rapidly than women who do not.  Women with PTSD are more likely to be overweight or obese. Researchers observed that it was not the trauma itself, but the symptoms of PTSD that seemed to be behind the weight gain.  It appears that when the PTSD symptoms were treated effectively, the risk of becoming obese is also significantly reduced.

What we know about PTSD is that

  • 1 in 9 women will develop the disorder over the course of their lifetime, twice as many as men
  • PTSD affects your mental health but also increases your risk for obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus
  • Despite the evidence of far-reaching problems associated with PTSD, only approximately 1/2 of women in the United States are ever treated. Wider recognition that PTSD is a risk factor for physical health could lead to better screening and treatment, including those to prevent obesity.

This study was reported in JAMA Psychiatry; Nov. 20th, 2013

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