U.S. Capital

Female Troops Have Same Risk of Developing PTSD as Men

Nov 2, 2015

Legal Help for Veterans is a law firm helping veterans get the benefits they deserve.

Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) November 2, 2015 – A new study by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense has found that women in the military are at the same risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as men with similar combat experiences.

Researchers examined more than 2,300 pairs of male and female active-duty troops and veterans deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan at least once. They did not have PTSD at the beginning of the study. Participants were matched based on variables such as age, race, marital status, alcohol use, combat exposure and military occupation. Medical histories and stressful life experiences such as divorce or sexual assault were also taken into account to ensure like comparisons.

The data showed that 6.7 percent of women and 6.1 percent of men developed PTSD after the pairs were followed for an average of seven years. According to researchers, this was a statistically insignificant difference. The findings were published in the September 2015 Journal of Psychiatric Research.

“These results offer insight into the long-term impact that military service can have on the mental health of female veterans,” said Jim Fausone, a Michigan-based veterans attorney. “As the study seems to suggest that inherent gender differences do not contribute to the risk of developing PTSD, future research can instead explore the effects of different types of traumatic experiences. The findings can then be applied to developing treatment options for PTSD.”

The results were far below the commonly cited 11 to 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who are reported to have PTSD. This was attributed to the study’s exclusion of troops who had PTSD at the outset.

In contrast to the latest findings, past research on civilians has found that women are at a higher risk for PTSD than men. However, men and women with similar trauma exposures were not compared in those cases. The results come at a time when the expanding role of women in combat and some elite units of the military has become the subject of debate.

“With more and more women taking on active roles in the military, the focus should now shift to specialized PTSD treatment approaches for female troops. For example, the VA has a shortage of women’s mental health therapists who can cater specifically to their needs,” said Fausone.

Learn more at http://www.legalhelpforveterans.com

Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800

  • VA revises access guidelines for service dogs at facilities
    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is enforcing new rules to ensure that veterans and visitors to VA hospitals, clinics and other facilities can bring their service dogs to appointments. The new policy took effect on Sept. 16. Visitors to VA facilities can now bring service animals if they “are individually trained to perform work […]
  • Veteran embarks on cross-country trek to raise awareness for PTSD
    British army veteran Neil Davis is walking across the country to raise awareness about the help needed for military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Davis arrived in the United States from Manchester, England, on July 29. He kicked off his journey on Aug. 1 from Cape Cod. So far, he has trekked through […]
  • VA hosts conference on traumatic brain injury
    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) held a two-day summit focusing on the treatment and research of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Washington, D.C. During his opening remarks at the conference on Aug. 24, VA Secretary Robert McDonald said that investing in TBI research can help solve the many problems that veterans face, such as […]
  • Michigan senator introduces bill to help improperly discharged veterans
    U.S. Senator Gary Peters has introduced legislation to help veterans who may not be receiving all the benefits they are entitled to as a result of being improperly discharged from the military due to behavioral changes. Peters, of Michigan, said the bill would ensure the fair treatment of veterans who were discharged because of behavior […]