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Sources of the increasing number of Vietnam era veterans with a diagnosis of PTSD using VHA services.

Hermes ED, Hoff R, Rosenheck RA. Sources of the increasing number of Vietnam era veterans with a diagnosis of PTSD using VHA services. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.). 2014 Jun 1; 65(6):830-2.

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OBJECTIVE: Correlates of the sharp increase in Vietnam era veterans diagnosed as having posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) were examined. METHODS: Analyses compared receipt of a PTSD diagnosis and service-connected disability compensation in 2004-2006 and 2007-2009. RESULTS: Among Vietnam era veterans, the percentage with a PTSD diagnosis in 2007-2009 was 22.2% higher than the percentage with PTSD in 2004-2006; the percentage without PTSD was 6.2% higher than in 2004-2006. Of those with PTSD in 2007-2009, 22.6% were previous VHA service users newly diagnosed ("conversions"); only 12.8% were entirely new to VHA ("recents"). Rates of disability compensation among recents and conversions were almost two and three times higher, respectively, than among those without PTSD. CONCLUSIONS: The increase in Vietnam era veterans with PTSD is associated with more frequent "conversion" to PTSD among previous VHA users and receipt of disability compensation.

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