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

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

Returning troops face both physical and mental challenges

Provided by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Citation: Women war veterans face higher risk of mental health problems during pregnancy (2010, December 21) retrieved 17 April 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2010-12-women-war-veterans-higher-mental.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments