Research conducted by the American Heart Association and published Monday in the association's journal Circulation found that veterans injured in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan are more likely to suffer chronic diseases.
That likelihood was based on how severe the injuries were, the research showed.
"The more severely a service member is injured, the more likely they are to develop a wide variety of chronic medical conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and hardening of the arteries,” Travis Air Force Base
David Grant Medical Center
Clinical Investigation Facility Researcher Ian Stewart, lead author of the study, said. “I have seen firsthand that our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines get the finest trauma and follow-up care.”
Stewart, an Air Force major, has cared for a number of American servicemen and women who were wounded in Afghanistan. His research looked at 3,846 military personal who were injured between February 2002 and February 2011. All the injuries were severe enough that the wounded were admitted to intensive care units.
Patients were analyzed until they left the military health care system, January 2013 or they died.
Chronic health conditions the veterans often developed included high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease.
Study indicates combat injuries, chronic diseases may be linked
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