September 14, 2009 / 8:30 PM / 10 years ago

Combat veterans risk high blood pressure: U.S. study

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Can the stress of war cause high blood pressure? Military veterans with repeated tours of combat duty are more likely to have high blood pressure than non-combat veterans, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

Their study of 36,000 servicemen and women, including 8,800 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, showed those with multiple combat exposures were 33 percent more likely than other military personnel to say they had high blood pressure.

Service members who had personally witnessed death due to war or disaster were 50 percent more likely to have high blood pressure, Nisara Granado of the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, California and colleagues reported in the journal Hypertension.

They said just under 7 percent of the healthy veterans, with an average age of 35, had high blood pressure.

High blood pressure raises the risk for stoke, heart attack, heart failure and other conditions.

Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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