Navigation Links
Combat Duty Harms Long-Term Health of Vets
Date:4/24/2009

Though soldiers tend to be healthier, trauma erases the advantage, study finds,,,,

FRIDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Those serving in the armed forces tend to be in better health than the general population, but for veterans who experienced combat duty, that initial health advantage is erased.

In fact, aging combat veterans have a poorer quality of life than do non-combat veterans, according to a study that was to be presented Friday at the American Heart Association's 10th Scientific Forum on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke, in Washington, D.C.

"Combat veterans had poorer overall functional status and quality of life compared to men who served but didn't see combat," said study author Anna Johnson, an epidemiology researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"Combat has a lasting impact. It's not something that's stressful and then goes away. It looks like it has a lifelong impact on people's daily ability," Johnson said.

Although it's clear that combat is stressful and that such stress can have an impact on short-term health and well-being, the researchers said that the long-term impact on well-being and self-perceived health hasn't been well-studied.

To get an idea of the long-term impact of serving in combat, they reviewed data from 5,347 community-dwelling men between the ages of 52 and 75 who had participated in the fourth Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, which began between 1996 and 1998. Eighty percent of the men in this study were white, and 20 percent were black.

From this group, 2,042 were non-veterans, while 2,127 were classified as non-combat veterans. There were 1,178 combat veterans who had served in World War II, Korea or in Vietnam.

The researchers found that non-veterans were 37 percent more likely than non-combat veterans to report being in poor or fair health. This was true even after the data were adjusted for possible confounding factors, such as age, race, health insurance status, education, income and occupation.

Non-combat veterans also fared better than those who had seen combat. Veterans who served in conflicts were 31 percent more likely than non-combat veterans to report poor or fair health, even after the data was adjusted.

Non-combat veterans were also in better shape as far as functional status. Combat veterans and non-veterans were 75 percent more likely than non-combat veterans to have difficulty doing heavy work around the house, walking up and down stairs unassisted or to walk a half mile unassisted, according to the study.

"This is obviously concerning," said Dr. Joel Young, a psychiatrist at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. "It appears that such a stressful life experience will have enduring consequences. Those who endured, those who witnessed hostility, seem to have compromised function later in life."

Although the study wasn't designed to assess the reason for these differences, Young said that people who are subjected to trauma can imprint those experiences and replay them, even years later, causing the same type of stress reaction, which causes the body to go into a hyperarousal state. And, he said, current research suggests that along with causing bursts of the stress hormone cortisol, such stress reactions may even cause actual degeneration in parts of the brain.

Whatever the mechanism behind these findings, Young said, "There's good evidence to suggest that people should get early help and intervention. Right now, the VA is very sensitive to the psychological consequences of combat, and the commitment to following up on the mental health needs of those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan seems to be more than it's ever been."

More information

Learn more about the physical effects of stress from HelpGuide.org.



SOURCES: Anna Johnson, Ph.D., epidemiology researcher, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Joel Young, M.D., psychiatrist, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mich.; April 24, 2009, presentation, American Heart Association's 10th Scientific Forum on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke, Washington, D.C.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New Website Launches Healthy Vending in Schools Nationwide to Help Combat Childhood Obesity
2. Video and Photo: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Ad Council Join NFL to Combat Childhood Obesity
3. Blue Cross and Partners to Host Combat Stress Conference for Minnesotas Health Care Professionals
4. Lilly Grant to VA Will Enhance Services for Returning Combat Veterans
5. Pediatricians Awarded for Innovative Approaches to Combat Childhood Obesity
6. Key Cleaning Solutions Products Utilized to Combat Community Acquired - MRSA (CA-MRSA) Are Succeeding In Killing Superbugs Where Normal Cleaning Practices and Products Are Not
7. Georgetown leads major effort to combat disparities in DC stroke care
8. Polar Joins Alliance to Combat Childhood Obesity
9. States Largest Medicaid Managed Care Plan Offering Training to Combat West Virginia Obesity Epidemic
10. Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths Applauds Senator Durbins Hospital Infection Legislation, but Suggests Some Crucial Additions in Order to Combat Soaring MRSA Rates
11. Food tricks that combat sneaky, creepy Halloween treats
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Combat Duty Harms Long-Term Health of Vets
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating ... many ways they remain in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who ... of The American Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and ... main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from ... at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center ... care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can ... CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn ... X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson ... Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. ... the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... PUNE, India , June 24, 2016 ... "Pen Needles Market by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety ... 12mm), Therapy (Insulin, GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase ... published by MarketsandMarkets, This report studies the market for ... is expected to reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets has ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function ... the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to keep ... in balance. Increasing number of ESRD patients ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... to date financial data derived from varied research sources to ... potential impact on the market during the next five years, ... of sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The report ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: