January 28, 2011

Wounded Vets at Risk for Heart Disease

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- War veterans who were wounded may be more likely to die from coronary heart disease, according to a new study.

Researchers surveyed a group of 55-year-old Finnish World War 2 veterans in 1980 and then followed up on their study 28 years later. During the follow-up period, 140 out of the 412 deaths were due to coronary heart disease. Wounded veterans were 1.7-times more likely to die from coronary heart disease than the comparison group.

Researchers also found those who were wounded in action had a higher BMI, history of self-reported depression, and were more likely to claim disability pension. They say this suggests that physical trauma may have longstanding physiological implications.

"Our findings support the concept that the effects of traumatic events at early adulthood may have long-term consequences on an individual's health," Dr. Seppo Nikkari, from the University of Tampere in Finland, was quoted as saying.

SOURCE: BioMed Central, January, 2011