Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects nearly 7 million Americans every year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Rehabilitation facilities can help individuals suffering from PTSD, but many people are still undiagnosed. Researchers now say that untreated PTSD may result in other complications as well.
A new study that examined approximately 286,000 male veterans between the ages of 41 and 80 determined that individuals with PTSD have an increased risk of dying early. Experts say that this is due to damaged blood vessels and a large amount of calcium deposits in arteries, according to Businessweek. For these reasons, veterans with PTSD are also at risk of developing heart disease, CNN reports.
Officials from the American Heart Association say that for the first time, they are beginning to see a link between the condition and cardiac illnesses. PTSD is now being considered a significant risk factor by doctors.
Nearly 29 percent of veterans died from the complications that resulted from PTSD during the 10-year study.
More than 200,000 received disability compensation from PTSD in 2005, according to Medicine Net, a statistics site. Rehabilitation facilities are playing a crucial role in helping veterans manage the condition when they return home from war.