Civil War Trauma Led to Combination Of Nervous and Physical Disease

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Younger soldiers who served in the U.S. Civil War and those who saw more of their comrades die were at greater risk for heart, stomach, and nervous illnesses decades after the war, reveals a study of individual and unit records of more than 15,000 veterans.

Parallels with earlier wars and soldiers may offer insight into the aftereffects of contemporary combat, co-author Roxane Cohen Silver, Ph.D., of the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior at the University of California, Irvine, told Psychiatric News in an interview. "There can be serious mental and physical health costs of traumatic war exposure," she said. "While the specific forms of trauma may have changed, the message is the same."

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