234 - Post-traumatic stress disorder mediates the link between childhood emotional neglect and type 2 diabetes: findings from the GESA consortium

Seryan Atasoy, H. Johar, Manfred E. Beutel, Harald Binder, G. Schumerus, Johannes Kruse, Karl Heinz Ladwig

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Childhood emotional neglect increases the incidence of type 2 diabetes, although the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. A potential risk pathway ensues following the ‘first hit’ of stressors during childhood, whereby individuals are more susceptible to a ‘second hit’ in adulthood. Confirming this theory, functional brain alterations caused by childhood emotional neglect have been associated with the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), possibly amplifying the risk of type 2 diabetes.
A total of 2,956 participants from the German multi-cohort Gender-Sensitive Analyses of mental health trajectories and implications for prevention (GESA) study were included to assess the association between childhood emotional neglect (defined by the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire), PTSD, and incidence of type 2 diabetes using adjusted logistic regression and Sobel test for mediation.
Results and conclusion
During follow-up, 211 (7.1%) of participants developed type 2 diabetes. Childhood emotional neglect was prevalent in 177 (6.0%) participants of whom 32 (18%) developed partial or full PTSD. Participants with emotional neglect had 2.52 times odds of type 2 diabetes incidence, despite adjustment for lifestyle, somatic and psychological risk factors (1.29-4.93), p=0.0065). The causal link between emotional neglect and incident T2D was significantly mediated by PTSD, which independently increased the type 2 diabetes odds by 2.66 (0.96- 7.36) p=0.06. The results suggest that the association between childhood emotional neglect and type 2 diabetes might be triggered by traumatic experiences leading to PTSD.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110049
Pages (from-to)18
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes
EventAnnual Meeting of the European Association of Psychosomatic Medicine (EAPM 2021) - online
Duration: 3 Jun 20214 Jun 2021
Conference number: 8th

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