Psychiatric problems send more troops home than combat injuries

A new study reports a sharp increase in the number of U.S. troops evacuated for psychiatric reasons in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

In fact, more troops were evacuated for mental health problems in 2007 than for combat injuries. That's according to a Johns Hopkins study recently published in the Lancet.

The rise in psychiatric evacuations was seen despite an increased attention to mental health problems and the provision of services aimed at treating combat stress.

"Most people think that in a war, getting shot is the leading cause of medical evacuation, but it almost never is," said study leader Steven P. Cohen, an associate professor of anesthesiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, told the JHU Gazet.

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"Patients with PTSD -- as a rule -- have multiple other complaints," he continued. "Studies have shown that most people with persistent PTSD have ongoing musculoskeletal, neurological and constitutional complaints that are unlikely to respond to treatment."

To read the study, click here.


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