The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently led a study that concluded soldiers awarded Purple Hearts lived longer than soldiers who never received the award. It’s believed Purple Heart recipients who aged without developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be able to give researchers a solid look into what makes some people resilient to combat stress.
The study evaluated over 10,000 veterans, who were atleast 65 in the 1990’s, that fought in both World War II and Korea. Researchers looked at the veterans’ survival rates through December of 2008. Medal recipients, including those with PTSD, were found to be alive at a rate of 2:1 over those non-recipients, including those with no PTSD, after 10 years of follow-ups. Also, soldiers awarded the Purple Heart, that never developed PTSD had higher mortality rates than those recipients who did develop PTSD.
Both the VA and the Department of Defense (DoD) have spent years studying psychological and neurobiological factors present in those soldiers who don’t develop PTSD. Various factors preventing the development of PTSD could be related to keeping the recipients alive for a longer period of time.
This finding runs contrary to multiple other studies, which have established links between PTSD and lower survival rates. This may be due to soldiers, who were injured in combat and developed PTSD, didn’t live to 65-years-old. This means the soldiers used for this study may have all been on the high end of healthy.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.