Servicemen & women at higher risk for certain health issues

About 8-million adults suffer from PTSD

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – According to the American Medical Association, heart disease, skin cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder are the 3 major health concerns for veterans.

Veterans are more likely to develop heart disease or have a heart attack than non-military.

Retired Marine Lt. Colonel Bennett Walsh was treated for skin cancer. He said, “I myself suffered from skin cancer, during my time in the Marine Corps., just from being in places that were closer to the equator.”

There’s also PTSD. “It’s called a moral injury, where people are forced to violate their own principles in the course of fighting a war,” said Dr. Ira Helfand of the Family Care Medical Center in Springfield.

Some veterans end up engaging in high risk behaviors like drugs and alcohol. “People come back badly hurt, needed something to help them deal with the pain, and it leads to an increase of drugs and alcohol by people who have been in these situations,” said Dr. Helfand.

About 8-million adults suffer from PTSD.

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