Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mental Illnesses Appear Common Among Veterans Returning From Iraq And Afghanistan

Date:
March 13, 2007
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Almost one-third of returning veterans who received health care at Veterans Affairs facilities between 2001 and 2005 were given a mental health or psychosocial diagnosis, according to a report in the Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Almost one-third of returning veterans who received health care at Veterans Affairs facilities between 2001 and 2005 were given a mental health or psychosocial diagnosis, according to a report in the March 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Related Articles


Some reports have suggested that soldiers returning from Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, the most recent military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, experience high rates of substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions, according to background information in the article.

In these operations, the most sustained ground combat since the Vietnam era, "the majority of military personnel experience high-intensity guerilla warfare and the chronic threat of roadside bombs and improvised explosive devices," the authors write. "Some soldiers endure multiple tours of duty, many experience traumatic injury and more of the wounded survive than ever before." These veterans are eligible for two years of free health care related to their military service through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Karen H. Seal, M.D., M.P.H., and colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco, and San Francisco VA Medical Center examined data from a VA database including 103,788 veterans of these operations who were first seen at VA facilities between Sept. 30, 2001, and Sept. 30, 2005. About 13 percent were women, 54 percent were younger than age 30, close to one-third were minorities and almost one-half were veterans of the National Guard or Reserves rather than full-time military personnel.

A total of 32,010 (31 percent) received mental health and/or psychosocial diagnoses, including 25,658 (25 percent) who received mental health diagnoses (56 percent of whom had two or more diagnoses). The most common such diagnosis was PTSD; the 13,205 veterans with this disorder represented 52 percent of those receiving mental health diagnoses and 13 percent of all the veterans in the study. "Mental health diagnoses were detected soon after the first VA clinic visit (median of 13 days), and most initial mental health diagnoses (60 percent) were made in non-mental health clinics, mostly primary care settings," the authors write. "The youngest group of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom veterans (age, 18 to 24 years) were at greatest risk for receiving mental health or post-traumatic stress disorder diagnoses compared with veterans 40 years or older."

About 29 percent of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have enrolled in VA health care, a high rate compared with 10 percent of Vietnam veterans. This and the relatively short period of time between the first VA clinic visit and diagnosis with a mental health condition suggest an opportunity to intervene early to diagnose and treat mental health concerns, the authors note. "Our results signal a need for improvements in the primary prevention of military service-related mental health disorders, particularly among our youngest service members," they conclude. "Furthermore, early detection and evidence-based treatment in both VA and non-VA mental health and primary care settings is critical in the prevention of chronic mental illness, which threatens to bring the war back home as a costly personal and public health burden."

This study was funded by a VA Health Services Research and Development Career Development Award and a grant from the VA Seattle Epidemiological Research and Information Center.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Mental Illnesses Appear Common Among Veterans Returning From Iraq And Afghanistan." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070313114409.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2007, March 13). Mental Illnesses Appear Common Among Veterans Returning From Iraq And Afghanistan. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070313114409.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Mental Illnesses Appear Common Among Veterans Returning From Iraq And Afghanistan." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070313114409.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins