Women war veterans face higher risk of mental health problems during pregnancy

Dec 21, 2010

Pregnancy among women veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan appears to increase their risk for mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a study published in Journal of Women's Health, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

The stress associated with in a war zone may later contribute to an increased risk of if a woman veteran becomes pregnant. Because the hormonal and physiological changes that accompany can bring on or worsen various it is important to understand what effects military service might have on a pregnant woman's mental health status and how that might affect pregnancy outcomes.

Kristin Mattocks, PhD, Yale University School of Medicine (New Haven, CT), and colleagues from VA Connecticut Healthcare System (West Haven, CT), Indiana University School of Medicine (Indianapolis), and UCLA School of Public Health (Los Angeles, CA), reviewed the records of more than 43,000 women veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan and completed their military service between 2001 and 2008. The authors emphasize the importance of identifying and providing appropriate diagnostic and treatment services for this at-risk population in the paper entitled, "Pregnancy and Mental Health Among Women Veterans Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan."

"With the increased number of women serving in the military, it is important that we understand their unique health issues such as mental health problems during pregnancy," says Editor-in-Chief Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA.

Explore further: Identifying the war-afflicted teenagers most in need of mental health care

Provided by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Returning troops face both physical and mental challenges

Sep 20, 2010

Is the US health system comprehensively meeting the needs of returning veterans? With the recent attention to mental illness in returning soldiers, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in particular, little research ...

Many veterans not getting enough treatment for PTSD

Feb 10, 2010

Although the Department of Veteran Affairs is rolling out treatments nationwide as fast as possible to adequately provide for newly diagnosed PTSD patients, there are still significant barriers to veterans getting a full ...

Most Britons escape 'Iraq war syndrome'

May 16, 2006

British troops serving in Iraq suffer post-conflict mental health problems at a far lower rate than U.S. military personnel, researchers say.

Growing problem for veterans: Domestic violence

Nov 06, 2008

"The increasing number of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) raises the risk of domestic violence and its consequences on families and children in communities across the United States," says Monica Matthieu, ...

Recommended for you

An alternative to medical marijuana for pain?

10 hours ago

Medical marijuana is proliferating across the country due to the ability of cannabis ingestion to treat important clinical problems such as chronic pain. However, negative side effects and the development of tolerance limit ...

Curtailing worry reduces key schizophrenia symptom

10 hours ago

Delusions of persecution in psychiatric patients can be reduced with just six sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a new clinical trial has found. Using CBT in this way could potentially help ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.