The Impact of Race on Metabolic Disease Risk Factors in Women With and Without Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

  • Eric A. DedertEmail author
  • Leia A. Harper
  • Patrick S. Calhoun
  • Michelle F. Dennis
  • Jean C. Beckham


The literature on PTSD and metabolic disease risk factors has been limited by lacking investigation of the potential influence of commonly comorbid disorders and the role of race. In this study data were provided by a sample of 134 women (63 PTSD and 71 without PTSD). Separate sets of models examining associations of psychiatric disorder classifications with metabolic disease risk factors were used. Each model included race (African American or Caucasian), psychiatric disorder, and their interaction. There was an interaction of race and PTSD on body mass index, abdominal obesity, and triglycerides. While PTSD was not generally associated with deleterious health effects in African American participants, PTSD was related to worse metabolic disease risk factors in Caucasians. MDD was associated with metabolic disease risk factors, but there were no interactions with race. Results support the importance of race in the relationship between PTSD and metabolic disease risk factors. Future research would benefit from analysis of cultural factors to explain how race might influence metabolic disease risk factors in PTSD.


Posttraumatic stress disorder Metabolic disease Race/ethnicity Obesity Major depressive disorder 



We would like to thank the participants who volunteered for this study. This work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health Grants R01MH062482, 2K24DA016388, 1R21CA128965, and the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development, Clinical Science, Health Services Research and Development Grant # IIR 08-032, and the Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center. The authors have no competing interests to report. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the National Institutes of Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric A. Dedert
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Leia A. Harper
    • 5
  • Patrick S. Calhoun
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Michelle F. Dennis
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jean C. Beckham
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Durham Veterans Affairs Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Veterans Affairs Mid-Atlantic Region Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical CenterDurhamUSA
  4. 4.Veterans Affairs Center for Health Services Research in Primary CareDurhamUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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