Nearly 30 Percent of Vets Treated By VA Have PTSDThis was released in February by the CBO
A new study by the Veterans Administration reveals nearly 30% of its patients who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD
Jamie Reno reports
October 21, 2012
The Department of Veterans Affairs has quietly released a new report on post- traumatic stress disorder, showing that since 9/11, nearly 30 percent of the 834,463 Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans treated at V.A. hospitals and clinics have been diagnosed with PTSD.
Veterans advocates say the new V.A. report is the most damning evidence yet of the profound impact multiple deployments have had on American service men and women since 9/11. Troops who’ve been deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan are more than three times as likely as soldiers with no previous deployments to screen positive for PTSD and major depression, according to a 2010 study published by the American Journal for Public Health.
The report, which revealed that 247,243 veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars have been diagnosed with PTSD, was buried on the V.A.’s website without fanfare. “As far as we can tell, V.A. didn’t tell anyone these numbers were made public," says veterans advocate Paul Sullivan at Bergmann and Moore, a law firm that focuses entirely on veteran disability issues. “No press release. Nothing. I actually found the report while searching for new data. I simply changed the V.A.’s web address from second quarter to third quarter by altering one digit, and the new numbers appeared. Magic, eh?”
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The Veterans Health Administration’s Treatment of PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury Among Recent Combat Veterans February 2012.
Occurrence and Prevalence of PTSD and TBI
In the VHA data provided to CBO regarding 496,800 OCO veterans treated by VHA between 2004 and 2009, veterans with a diagnosis of PTSD (but not TBI) accounted for 21 percent (103,500) of the total, and those with a diagnosis of TBI (but not PTSD) accounted for 2 percent (8,700).
In addition, veterans with diagnoses of both PTSD and TBI accounted for about 5 percent (26,600). Thus, three out of four OCO veterans with a diagnosis of TBI had a concurrent PTSD diagnosis.32 In total, approximately 26 percent (130,100) had at least one diagnosis of PTSD, and 7 percent (35,300) had at least one diagnosis of TBI.
33 More than 70 percent (358,000) of OCO veterans treated by VHA were not diagnosed with either PTSD or TBI. Other mental health conditions besides PTSD are common within the OCO veteran population. (For a brief description of other mental health conditions and suicide in that popu- lation, see Box 2.)
31. VHA computes costs on the basis of its internal reporting systems. Costs for treating PTSD and TBI in the civilian population and veterans treated at VHA are unlikely to be comparable because of differences in cost allocation methodologies, the populations treated, and the mechanisms of injury. Also, while VHA data mea- sure the costs of care, private-sector estimates are often based on insurance reimbursements to private providers, which are not identical to costs.