A new study has found that more than one-third of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who enrolled in the veterans health system after 2001 received a diagnosis of a mental health problem, most often post-traumatic stress disorder or depression.
The study by researchers at the San Francisco Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco, also found that the number of veterans found to have mental health problems rose steadily the longer they were out of the service.
The study, released Thursday, was based on the department health records of 289,328 veterans involved in the two wars who used the veterans health system for the first time from April 1, 2002, to April 1, 2008.
The researchers found that 37 percent of those people received mental health diagnoses. Of those, the diagnosis for 22 percent was post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, for 17 percent it was depression and for 7 percent it was alcohol abuse. One-third of the people with mental health diagnoses had three or more problems, the study found.
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