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PTSD may almost double dementia risk in vets

June 8, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new study suggests older veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder could be almost twice as likely to develop dementia. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center followed more than 181,000 veterans for seven years. The veterans were almost all men and were 55 years or older.

When the study began, none had dementia but more than 53,000 had PTSD.

During the follow-up period, more than 31,000 veterans, or 17.2 percent, were diagnosed with dementia. Veterans with PTSD had a dementia rate of almost 11 percent. Those who did not have PTSD had a rate of 6.6 percent, or almost half.

The findings appear in the June issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.