Navigation Links
Killing in war linked with suicidal thoughts among Vietnam veterans, study finds
Date:4/18/2012

The experience of killing in war was strongly associated with thoughts of suicide, in a study of Vietnam-era veterans led by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC) and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

The scientists found that veterans with more experiences involving killing were twice as likely to have reported suicidal thoughts as veterans who had fewer or no experiences.

To evaluate the experience of killing, the authors created four variables killing enemy combatants, killing prisoners, killing civilians in general and killing or injuring women, children or the elderly. For each veteran, they combined those variables into a single composite measure. The higher the composite score, the greater the likelihood that a veteran had thought about suicide.

The relationship between killing and suicidal thoughts held even after the scientists adjusted for variables including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, substance use disorders and exposure to combat.

The study, which was published electronically on April 13 in the journal Depression and Anxiety, was based on an analysis of data from the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Survey, a comprehensive study of a nationally representative sample of Vietnam-era veterans.

The authors cited other research indicating that veterans are at elevated risk of suicide compared to people with no military service. They noted that by 2009, the suicide rate in the U.S. Army had risen to 21.8 per 100,000 soldiers, a rate exceeding that of the general population.

"The VA has a lot of very good mental health programs, including programs targeting suicide prevention. Our goal is to make those programs even stronger," said lead author Shira Maguen, a clinical psychologist at SFVAMC and an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCSF. "We want clinicians and suicide prevention coordinators to be aware that in analyzing a veteran's risk of suicide, killing in combat is an additional factor that they may or may not be aware of."

Notably, the scientists found that the only variable with a significant link to actual suicide attempts among the veterans was PTSD a finding that replicated earlier studies, according to Maguen. Thus, she said, the link between killing and suicide attempts was not as significant as the link between killing and suicidal thoughts.

Maguen noted that, currently, the mental health impact of killing is not formally evaluated as part of VA or Department of Defense mental health treatments, nor typically taken into consideration when assessing a veteran's risk of suicide.

"We know from our previous research how hard it is to talk about killing," Maguen cautioned. "It's important that we as care providers have these conversations with veterans in a supportive, therapeutic environment so that they will feel comfortable talking about their experiences."

The overall goal, she said, "is to look back and understand some lessons of the past that we can apply to the present. Talking with people who have had suicidal thoughts can potentially give us insights into why suicides occur, and hopefully help us prevent them."


'/>"/>

Contact: Steve Tokar
steve.tokar@ncire.org
415-221-4810 x5202
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Plasmacytoid DCs: Tumor-killing immune cells
2. Cancer-killing compound spares healthy cells
3. Cancer-killing cells are caught on film in more 3-D detail than ever before
4. Led by advances in chemical synthesis, scientists find natural product shows pain-killing properties
5. New dishware sanitizers prove more effective at killing harmful bacteria
6. Compound enhances cancer-killing properties of agent in trials
7. Button Batteries Killing, Disabling Children
8. Is Our Junk Food Diet Killing America?
9. Online Tool Created to Contact Vatican Officials: Why Are American Bishops Allowed to Defy the Popes Words Concerning Child Killing and the Eucharist?
10. Is Your Exercise Routine Killing You?
11. Anxiety Linked to Smarts in Brain Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/27/2017)... ... March 27, 2017 , ... ... -centric training, today announced the launch of a new research study, The Business ... skills needed to execute that strategy, and the actual success of achieving individual ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ... , ... According to the American Cancer Society , the average 15-year ... Once the cancer spreads to other organs, bones, or lymph nodes, however, the 5-year ... this latter group, tune in to Lifestyle Magazine on April 9, 2017, ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Golden Triangle Emergency Center will be hosting ... to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the facility. The event will feature refreshments ... years while also familiarizing themselves with the facility. , In the two years ...
(Date:3/25/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Getting earned media coverage meaningful for Garden Media Group's clients ... the year, Garden Media aims to provide material helpful to clients’ goals and bottom ... client’s key messages to gain coveted media placements, Garden Media wows clients year-round. ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... Infectious disease ... hospitals in the United States, it’s a threat that is constantly changing and ... infection prevention and offers strategies for the healthcare community to help decrease the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)... Pulmatrix, Inc . (NASDAQ: PULM), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company ... announced that it has added two experts in the fields ... Scientific Advisory Board . The two experts ... MD, former chief of the Pediatric Pulmonary and Allergy Divisions ... University, and David Denning , MD, ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... SAN FRANCISCO , March 27, 2017 ...  is expected to reach USD 16.0 billion by 2025, ... Inc. The growing prevalence of chronic diseases is anticipated ... clinical chemistry analyzers, which thereby widens the scope for ... of geriatric and bariatric population, which is highly susceptible ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... DUBLIN and BOSTON ... AGN), a leading global pharmaceutical company and Paratek ... on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies ... Phase 3 trials of sarecycline for the treatment ... week primary efficacy endpoints. Sarecycline is a once-daily, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: