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Study: Some Vietnam Vets Still Struggle With PTSD, 40 Years Later
Forty years after the end Vietnam War, troops who served there continue to struggle with post-traumatic stress, according to a study published in the September issue of JAMA Psychiatry.
The National Vietnam Veterans Longitudinal Study concludes that 271,000 Vietnam War veterans suffer from varying levels of post-traumatic stress, and that one-third of that number have a major depressive disorder 40 years after the war.
“An important minority of Vietnam veterans are symptomatic after four decades, with more than twice as many deteriorating as improving,” reads the report. If left untreated, symptoms of post-traumatic stress can be exacerbated as individuals grow older, especially when combined with substance abuse and co-existing psychiatric disorders.
“Policy implications include the need for greater access to evidence-based mental health services,” the report recommends, citing the stressors of aging, retirement, chronic illness, declining social support and the recurrence of unwanted memories as contributing factors to lifetime post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans.
After post-traumatic stress disorder was included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980, studies showed a gradual decline in post-traumatic stress rates among Vietnam veterans and a diminished effect during a 10-year follow up. However, concerns persisted that combat and wartime stressors were likely to continue having an impact in patients’ lives.
The study — which was led by Dr. Charles R. Marmar of the New York University Langone Medical Center — was published online in July and designed to reassess veterans who participated in the original National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study that was conducted from 1984 through 1988. The new data appears to show that the effects of post-traumatic stress have a longer lifespan than initially thought.
With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan drawing national attention to wartime post-traumatic stress, the implications of the report are of particular note for veterans of America’s most recent conflicts. More than 2.4 million service members deployed to either theater at least once, and according to the National Center for PTSD, between 11 and 20% of Iraq or Afghanistan veterans will have post-traumatic stress in a given year.
The survey was administered to a representative national sample of 2,348 veterans who served in the Vietnam theater of operations. It consisted of a computer-assisted telephone survey, a clinical interview, and a self-reported questionnaire, administered between July 2012 and May 2013.
These findings raise questions about the necessity for mental health care services, both now and in the future, and underscore the need for continued care for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Iran's top diplomat threatened an "all-out war" Thursday with the U.S. or Saudi Arabia if either country launches a retaliatory strike over a drone and missile attack on oil reserves that sent energy prices soaring.
Tehran's tough-talking foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, threw the gauntlet down, promising a battle that would go on "to the last American soldier."
Former Army EOD tech gets 5 years probation for trying to sell guns and explosives to buyers in Mexico
After a pair of Army explosive ordnance disposal technicians were indicted on federal charges for attempting to sell weapons and explosives to smugglers headed to Mexico, one of the two men involved has been sentenced after taking a plea deal, according to court documents filed on Wednesday.
JALALABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A U.S. drone strike intended to hit an Islamic State (IS) hideout in Afghanistan killed at least 30 civilians resting after a day's labor in the fields, officials said on Thursday.
The attack on Wednesday night also injured 40 people after accidentally targeting farmers and laborers who had just finished collecting pine nuts at mountainous Wazir Tangi in eastern Nangarhar province, three Afghan officials told Reuters.
"The workers had lit a bonfire and were sitting together when a drone targeted them," tribal elder Malik Rahat Gul told Reuters by telephone from Wazir Tangi.
Built to win World War III, the F-35 is mostly being used to bomb caves and other stationary targets
The F-35 is built to win wars against China and Russia, but since the United States is not fighting either country at the moment, it's mostly being used to bomb caves and weapons caches — a mission that older and cheaper aircraft can do just as well.
The Marine Corps' F-35B variant flew its first combat mission in September 2018 by dropping two bombs on a weapons cache in Afghanistan. The Air Force's F-35A's combat debut came in April, when two aircraft attacked an ISIS cave and tunnel complex in northeast Iraq.
More recently, F-35s joined F-15s in dropping 80,000 pounds of ordnance on Iraq's Qanus Island, which was "infested" with ISIS fighters, Army Col. Myles Caggins, spokesman for U.S. and coalition forces fighting ISIS, tweeted Sept. 10.