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Research snapshot: Veterans with lower socioeconomic status sleep less, may suffer related health issues

Regularly sleeping fewer than six hours per night has been linked to a number of health problems including cardiovascular disease, poor mental health, and other life-threatening diseases.

Now, new research published in the American Journal of Public Health from the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota highlights socioeconomic disparities in sleep duration among veterans who served in the U.S. Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Research found these veterans are at an increased risk of not getting enough sleep, and suffering the resulting consequences.

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Alarming number of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans struggle accessing enough food

As many as 1 in 4 men and women who served in the U.S. military during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have difficulties accessing sufficient food, found new research from the University of Minnesota.

The study indicates limited or uncertain access to adequate food is a prevalent problem among the newest U.S. veterans, a previously unknown facet of the financial hardships affecting veterans.

“We found that 27 percent of veterans who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan don’t have consistent access to sufficient food,” said lead author Rachel Widome, Ph.D., in University of Minnesota School of Public Health. “That’s drastically higher than the prevalence of food insecurity in the U.S., which is 14.5 percent.”

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Veterans Day: supporting those who served our country

Today the U.S. celebrates Veterans Day, and Americans across the country honor the sacrifices and service of the armed forces.

As the face of the U.S. veteran continues to change with every war, the University of Minnesota has joined research institutions across the nation in working to support those who served our country through new, innovative research.

Returning to U.S. soil after serving in the military during wartime can bring a whole new set of challenges for veterans to face. Here are a few ways the University of Minnesota is working to improve the lives of active and retired military:

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U of M and Minneapolis VA awarded $5.3 million to educate more nurses

The partnership will yield 100 additional bachelor’s degree-prepared nurses over five years.

This fall, the University of Minnesota School of Nursing will admit its largest class of undergraduate nursing students in history, with 148 sophomores entering its bachelor’s degree program – 20 more than in any previous year. This expansion is possible due to a $5.3 million competitive award from the federal Department of Veterans Affairs to the Minneapolis VA Health Care System announced this month.

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