A report indicates that an increasing number of veterans of the US Armed Forces are developing sleep problems, largely due to a rising prevalence of PTSD.
Researchers at the University of South Carolina found the number of veterans with sleep disorders went up six-fold during the last decade, while PTSD has become three times as common during the same time, they report in a new study published in the journal Sleep.
Combat experience and other mental disorders have also helped push the number of sleep disorders among veterans up, but the increased rates are concerning regardless of the specific cause, they say.
For the study, researchers analyzed medical data on all 9.78 million veterans who sought healthcare from the Veterans Health Administration between 2000 and 2010, of whom 93 percent were men and 751,502 were diagnosed with a sleep disorder.
The most common sleep disorders diagnosed were sleep apnea and insomnia, which made up 47% and 26% of all diagnoses. The overall number of disorders diagnosed is a six-fold relative increase in total prevalence during the decade-long study period.
During the decade, which included the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, researchers reported PTSD diagnoses tripled and were linked to 16% of sleep disorders — the most common condition linked to a sleep disorder among the veterans.