WASHINGTON — Veterans remain more likely to report feeling in great medical condition even while they face an increased risk of serious health problems like cancer, arthritis and emotional distress, according to updated survey results from veterans advocates out Tuesday.
The report, from United Health Foundation and the Military Officers Association of America, has tracked health issues among former military members since 2011, with the goal of highlighting that the “health care needs of people with military service differ in several important ways from civilians.”
The results come from more than 1 million responses from veterans and civilians who never served. In 2016, the most recent results, more than 56 percent of veterans reported their health is good or excellent, above the 51 percent of civilian peers who said the same.
But as has been the case in past surveys, that optimism overlooks a host of unhealthy behaviors and significant health threats facing individuals who spent time in uniform.