Type 2 diabetes in Scottish military veterans: a retrospective cohort study

Bergman, B., Mackay, D. F. and Pell, J. P. (2022) Type 2 diabetes in Scottish military veterans: a retrospective cohort study. BMJ Open, 12(2), e057431. (doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-057431) (PMID:35115360) (PMCID:PMC8814809)

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Abstract

Objectives Type 2 diabetes is an important public health problem but the risk in UK military veterans is unknown. We used data from the Trends in Scottish Veterans' Health study to investigate the risk in comparison with people with no record of service. Design Retrospective cohort study of a large national sample in Scotland, with up to 37 years follow-up. Setting Pseudoanonymised extract of computerised Scottish National Health Service records, including a disease register and national vital records. Participants 78 000 veterans and 253 000 people with no record of service matched for age, sex and area of residence. Outcome measures Cox proportional HRs for first record of type 2 diabetes in veterans compared with non-veterans, overall and by sex and birth cohort. Long-term trend, comorbidity with specific mental health outcomes and risk of limb loss. Results Overall, 7.2% of veterans were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and were at slightly increased risk compared with non-veterans, Cox proportional HR 1.08, 95%CIs 1.04 to 1.11, p<0.001. The increased risk was confined to men, and to veterans born prior to 1960. There has been no change in HR over the last 25 years. Among veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 12.1% had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, compared with 9.4% of non-veterans with PTSD. The difference was statistically significant, OR 1.29, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.59, p=0.021. Risk of limb loss was increased among the oldest veterans. Conclusions Older veterans in Scotland have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in comparison with non-veterans, but there is no difference in respect of younger veterans, and the pattern of risk shows no evidence that it is changing. There is a positive association between type 2 diabetes and PTSD, especially in the presence of comorbid mood disorder, an important finding which should be noted by care providers.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bergman, Dr Beverly and Mackay, Professor Daniel and Pell, Professor Jill
Authors: Bergman, B., Mackay, D. F., and Pell, J. P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:BMJ Open
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:2044-6055
ISSN (Online):2044-6055
Published Online:03 February 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMJ Open 12(2):e057431
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
302109Trends in Scottish Veterans' HealthBeverly BergmanForces in Mind Trust (FiMT) (FIMT)FiMT17/1101UGHW - Public Health