A new study released Thursday has started to unveil the brutal legacy that has been left on members of the U.S military and its veterans after more than a decade of war.
The study found that over the past year, on average, each service member visited the doctor more than once a month. This marks the highest rate ever for out-patient treatment of U.S. military members.
Doctors have encountered out-patient visits at a shocking pace of 14 out-patient visits per service member in the past year of 2013. This is a whopping 60% increase from average out-patients visits by U.S. military members in 2004.
Among the most frequently treated problems, more than 20 million out-patient visits by troops were primarily for joint and back problems and mental disorders. Rates for both of these ailments have increased by 30% since 2009.
The study also found that women in the service visited doctors more frequently than their male counterparts, even after discounting issues related to pregnancy. The most common behavioral health problems men were treated for were alcoholism, anxiety, and adjustment issues. For women, the most common issues were anxiety, adjustment disorders, and depression.
The negative effects of war on the health of those serving in the military are becoming ever more apparent. Veterans who have served are struggling through a growing list of medical problems, making the need for veteran aid more apparent.
With this new study, and reports of poor veteran treatment like the “secret waiting list” at the Phoenix VA*, this country needs to renew its dedication to properly caring for those who have protected our freedoms in times of war.
*Read LHFV’s past post on the “secret waiting list” issue here: http://www.legalhelpforveterans.com/2014/04/an-absolute-disgrace-veterans-dying-on-va-hospitals-secret-list/
You can read more in the Army Times article here: http://www.armytimes.com/article/20140508/BENEFITS06/305080052/Troops-go-doctors-more-than-ever-new-survey-shows
To read the full report, check out the April edition of the Pentagon’s Medical Surveillance Monthly Report. It can be found here: http://phc.amedd.army.mil/PHC%20Resource%20Library/MSMRv21_n04.pdf