Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Substance-use disorders linked to increased risk of death for veterans with PTSD

Date:
September 18, 2012
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
Association between drug, alcohol problems and mortality most prominent in younger veterans with PTSD, including those from Iraq, Afghanistan.

Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who are also battling drug or alcohol problems face a higher risk of death, according to new research from the University of Michigan Health System and the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.

Related Articles


The new study is the first to examine the association between drug or alcohol use disorders and death in veterans with PTSD, and also includes data from the nation's youngest veterans who have returned from conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kipling Bohnert, Ph.D., the study's lead author, says the research sheds new light on the importance of treating both substance-use and post-traumatic stress disorders in veterans.

"Attention needs to be paid to veteran patients with PTSD, with an emphasis on identifying those who might also have a problem with drug or alcohol use," says Bohnert, who is a post-doctoral fellow at VA Ann Arbor and a research fellow at the University of Michigan. "This study highlights the potential importance of effective treatment for both conditions in helping veterans after they've returned from conflict."

Previous research on veterans has linked PTSD with higher risks of death, but this study is the first to highlight the association between substance-use disorders, PTSD and mortality. The study was published online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

While the researchers found a significant link between substance-use disorders and death in veterans with PTSD across all ages, they also found that the association was most pronounced for the youngest group of veterans, including those from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The youngest veterans, those 45 and under, showed a particularly strong link between substance-use disorders and both injury and non-injury related death. Injury-related death included homicides, suicides and accidents, while non-injury related deaths included heart disease, cancer and other health problems.

Bohnert says more research is necessary to figure out why younger veterans exhibit a stronger tie between substance-use disorders and death.

Federic C. Blow, Ph.D., the paper's senior author, the director of National Serious Mental Illness Treatment Research & Evaluation Center at the VA, says the research might be helpful for physicians in deciding the best way to treat their patients.

"In theory, a treatment program that addresses both issues -- substance use and PTSD -- should reduce the risk of death from all causes, and this may be especially true for the nation's youngest veterans," says Blow, who is also the director of the Mental Health Services Outcomes & Translation Section at the U-M Medical School.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kipling M. Bohnert, Mark A. Ilgen, Craig S. Rosen, Rani A. Desai, Karen Austin, Frederic C. Blow. The association between substance use disorders and mortality among a cohort of Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder: Variation by age cohort and mortality type. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2012.08.015

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Substance-use disorders linked to increased risk of death for veterans with PTSD." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120918111135.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2012, September 18). Substance-use disorders linked to increased risk of death for veterans with PTSD. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120918111135.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Substance-use disorders linked to increased risk of death for veterans with PTSD." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120918111135.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

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
1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

AFP (Dec. 12, 2014) As the countdown to Christmas gets underway, so too does the Father Christmas conspiracy. But psychologists say that telling our children about Santa, flying reindeer and elves is good for their imaginations. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
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