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Veterans Seeing Worse Problems

TYLER, TX — An on-going study with the VA Boston Healthcare System is finding that veterans in their twenties and thirties appear to be aging faster.

We asked a local cardiologist what type of new effects these soldiers are facing.

Dr. Raymon Kumar from Trinity Clinic Cardiology said, "As opposed to in the past when mainly post traumatic stress disorder was found in our veterans theres new problems that were seeing, were seeing, more on set diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even early signs of heart disease."

The co-director of the study told KETK that these young veterans should be in the best shape of their lives, however they are finding that's not the case.

Co-Director/Co-Principal Investigator: Translational Research Center for TBI and Stress Disorders (T.R.A.C.T.S.) with VA Boston Healthcare System, Dr. William Milberg said, "We're very interested in the lab at how those diseases develop early in life even in middle age and early adulthood. we feel that a lot of cases you see in older adults really have been occurring a lot sooner."

Dr. Milberg said that he was seeing a lot of young veterans coming in for blood tests with pre-diabetes and a high rising amount of obesity.

Dr. Kumar said, "When you're in your twenties and thirties and you start to develop high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, that's really a problem for later in life and you've accelerated the process of heart disease so instead of heart attacks occurring in people in their sixties, seventies, and eighties seventies and eighties, we now will see heart attack patients and take care of them right here on this table in their thirties and forties."

However, there are some ways young adults, veterans or not, can try to treat and prevent these health problems.

"Your body is for a lack of a better word ageing prematurely, I would highly recommend diet and exercise for those patients, therapeutic lifestyle changes such as stopping tobacco use change of diet, these type of things to at least help the progression of to full blown heart disease," Dr. Kumar said.