Many veterans sustain injuries in combat, and this includes brain injuries. Sadly, these injuries may be why more Florida veterans are dying young.
Study on veterans and brain injuries
A study involving veterans with a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) appeared in “JAMA Network Open” in February 2022. It showed that those who served since 9/11 have been dying younger compared with veterans who served the country earlier.
Factors in veteran deaths
The researchers found that many veterans since 9/11 have died before the age of 45, which is in vast contrast with those who served in wars during the 20th century. However, many of these service members were affected by other conditions or situations in addition to TBI.
Veterans between the ages of 18 and 44 were closely researched. The research team learned that more than in 3,800 veteran deaths accidents or suicide were among the main factors. The veterans studied had moderate to severe TBI, which was also found to increase the risk of death. Some of the veterans also suffered from heart disease and cancer. Others were victims of homicide.
The study showed that there was a higher risk of heart disease among veterans with TBI. Those with moderate to severe TBI were also found to have a higher risk of suicide compared with people who have not served in the military. However, it was also found that veterans suffering from TBI were three times more likely to be murdered compared to the average person.
The president and CEO of the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation in New York, who was not involved in the study, stressed the importance of veterans seeking help for their illnesses.