Report: Servicemembers and veterans smoke and drink more, sleep less

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A U.S. soldier smokes a cigarette during a Kosovo Forces training exercise at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, Aug. 25, 2012. (U.S. Army)
From Stripes.com
A U.S. soldier smokes a cigarette during a Kosovo Forces training exercise at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, Aug. 25, 2012. (U.S. Army)

Report: Servicemembers and veterans smoke and drink more, sleep less

by: Nikki Wentling | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: November 12, 2016

WASHINGTON – People who have served in the military smoke and drink more and sleep less than the general population, according to a report released Thursday by the United Health Foundation.

The study, based off a survey of approximately 60,000 veterans and servicemembers annually from 2011 through 2014, also found higher rates of coronary heart disease, heart attack and cancer. Researchers said they’ll deliver the results to the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs and other health care providers in the hopes that it will help with treatment.

“We owe it to these people to see if anything can be done, if we could identify opportunities to improve,” said Richard Migliori, senior adviser to the United Health Foundation, an offspring of insurer United Health Group. “I think we found some meaningful things here.”

The findings show 25.2 percent of servicemembers and veterans who are 18 to 39 years old smoke, compared to 20.7 percent of the general population of the same age range. Approximately 20 percent of servicemembers and veterans drink excessively, while 18.1 percent of others do. Drinking excessively was defined by the report as either binge drinking, having five or more drinks in one sitting, or heavy drinking, which means having more than two drinks each day.

Read more at: http://www.stripes.com/1.438777