Getting Old Fast
Veteran Disability Lawyer
As if our veterans haven’t struggled enough while overseas, they appear to be facing new physical and psychological difficulties when they return home.
According to a study currently being conducted at a VA hospital in Massachusetts, veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan appear to be growing old before their time. Scientists are seeing early signs of heart disease, diabetes, slowed metabolisms and obesity – maladies that are more common in middle age or later.
This study is in its early stages to determine if these veterans have a form of early aging. These symptoms appear to be most common in those with blast-related concussion and PTSD.
The Army, mindful of the strain of combat is allowing troops more time between deployments. The length of each deployment has also been decreased from a year down to nine months.
Matt Pierce, a veteran of multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, is participating in the study. A young man who should be in the best shape of his life struggles with high blood pressure, vivid nightmares, and a body that always aches.
Another example is a former soldier who came through the VA hospital a couple months before the study officially started. He was suffering from obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and brain legions. His MRI scans looked like those of someone in their 70s; however, he wasn’t even 40.
This theory may not be proven until these veterans are studied over the next decade. One thing is certain, though – we all benefit from the sacrifice of these veterans and must ensure that they receive the care they deserve when they return home.
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