More Stress for Women Warriors

Warning to the VA’s health-care providers: Be prepared for increasing numbers of stressed-out women.

A new study, whose findings are being published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, reports that women warriors in Iraq and Afghanistan have been involved in more combat than in previous conflicts, and they have the same post-traumatic stress disorder as men.

Researchers sifted through situations involving more than 7,000 active-duty soldiers who served in the war zones and found that 4 percent of females reported killing, 9 percent reported witnessing killing, 31 percent reported exposure to death, and 7 percent suffered a combat-related injury.

Women injured in combat were more likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder than injured men.

“If women are indeed being exposed to combat stressors at a higher rate than in prior eras, we have to be prepared to provide the services they need and take into account the impact that these stressors can have on their mental health functioning,” said Shira Maguen, a psychiatric academic who was the lead author of the report.

Read more in U.S. News & World Report.

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