TRACTS Study: Vets May Have Accelerated Aging

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With extended tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, the veteran population may be aging at an accelerated rate. There appears to be a link between PTSD and TBI in the poor health outcomes for vets.

Does anyone find this surprising?


Preliminary research on veterans and active-duty members of the military shows that symptoms like hypertension, elevated cholesterol and glucose levels, and obesity, which are typically seen in older Americans, are plaguing members of the military at a much earlier age, according to Regina McGlinchey, co-director of the Transitional Research Center for TBI and Stress Disorders (TRACTS).

“Other work prior to this has shown a link between PTSD and risk for metabolic syndrome,” said Dr. Ann Rasmusson, a research affiliate with the National Center for PTSD and TRACTS.  ”We think that there may be common underlying risk factors for both, plus the trauma and stress they are exposed to may also have influence on cardiovascular risk.”

The center, which began testing veterans who suffer from brain injuries and PTSD in 2010, has seen more than 270 veterans and active-duty members. The center sees veterans of all ages, but the focus has been on those in their 20s and early 30s.

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  2. I am not surprised. My husband had a heart attack at age 39 two months after he got back from a 9 month ship deployment in Desert Storm where the ship was in combat. Fortunately he did survive but has multiple serious health problems now.

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