Wednesday, July 2, 2008

General physical health of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan

The General Physical Health of Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans
Wednesday July 2, 2008
Soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are showing high rates of PTSD, alcohol use, depression and difficulties with anger. Returning soldiers may also be at a heightened risk for physical health problems.
The experience of a traumatic event has been linked to a number of physical health problems as well as unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking and alcohol use. Obviously, being deployed in a war zone, such as Iraq or Afghanistan, increases the likelihood that a person will experience a traumatic event and thus be at a greater risk for developing PTSD and potential physical health problems. Soldiers deployed to a war zone, however, also face additional risk factors for physical health problems, including sustaining a physical injury and being exposed to environmental contaminants (dangerous chemicals).
Therefore, a study by researchers at the Seattle VA Hospital examined what factors (the experience of PTSD symptoms, physical injury, exposure to environmental contaminants) may be connected to physical health problems among Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans. You can read about their interesting findings here.

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