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Study: Growing prevalence of mental disorders among female veterans linked to heart problems
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Growing prevalence of mental disorders among female veterans linked to heart problems: Study

Mental disorders may affect men and women differently. For example, disorders like depression and anxiety have been found to be more common in women. Persistent emotional problems become palpable as physiological disorders, with many sufferers complaining of unwarranted pain or other symptoms. A study focusing on prolonged mental illnesses among female veterans revealed the extent of risk of suffering from coronary artery disease (CAD) they are prone to.

In their study titled “Association Between Mental Health Burden and Coronary Artery Disease in U.S. Women Veterans Over 45: A National Cross-Sectional Study,” the researchers showed how the possibility of being afflicted with CAD rises by at least 40 percent when faced with added mental illnesses like depression, anxiousness and psychotic disorders. The study published online in the Journal of Women’s Health in October 2017 included details of 157,000 women veterans, aged above 45 years, to analyze the statistical link between CAD and the presence of single or multiple mental diseases.

Risk of heart problems in depressed women veterans

An examination of the data collated showed how women veterans suffering from depression had 60 percent higher probability of being affected by CAD problems compared to those exhibiting no symptoms of depressive disorder irrespective of whether they smoked or not. An assessment of the findings also indicated how diagnosis of any additional mental health condition resulted in a 44 percent higher risk of being affected by heart disorders.

Referring to the observations, study co-author Dr. Megan Gerber said, “This study suggests that, for women Veterans, mental health diagnoses act as potentially modifiable risk factors for coronary artery disease. Our findings indicate that interventions for reduction of heart disease risk in women Veterans should focus on detection and treatment of mental health disorders, particularly depression.”

Identifying risks before treatment

The findings are important in the sense that it is the first of its kind stressing on a possible relationship between cardiovascular problems and detection of psychiatric health disorders in women veterans. In addition, not all women veterans seek necessary help at the Veteran Academy, thus emphasizing on the need for community service providers to understand the possible risks to the women veteran patients they are treating.

While treating heart patients suffering from cardiovascular disorders or complaining of uneasiness in the heart, it is necessary for the clinicians to probe into possible factors, both physical and mental, prior to referring them to necessary treatment. The findings can help in the treatment of heart ailments in the growing and aging population.

Concern over deteriorating mental health

Mental illnesses are a serious cause of concern for Americans, especially among the women. The nature of problems that female veterans go through during their service and after that is commonly ignored. To bust any myth about mental illnesses, it is necessary to spread awareness and focus on the need to avail timely treatment to all those in need. Depression being a common emotional health disorder according to federal agencies is responsible for a wide range of psychological and physiological disorders.

Veterans, especially women, are mostly in the throes of trauma and other psychological health conditions that need to be addressed immediately. Delay or lack of treatment can result in situations like suicidal tendency or even suicide. Sovereign Health’s Arizona rehabilitation center is considered one of the best among women’s mental health facilities. Our tailored treatment approach makes the Chandler-based facility the most preferred choice among the state’s mental health treatment centers for women. For more information on our center or immediate assistance, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our representatives.

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