Health Highlights: March 8, 2013

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Army Still Struggling with PTSD Diagnosis, Treatment: Report

The U.S. Army still has difficulty diagnosing and treating soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder, even though it has more than doubled the number of military and civilian behavioral health workers over the past five years, according to an Army report.

It says that incompatible training and guidelines, confusing paperwork, and incompatible data systems are among the stumbling blocks, the Associated Press reported.

The Army has made progress in some areas, including reducing how long it takes soldiers to get a disability evaluation and publishing a guide to the process, the report said.

It's an important issue, as suicide deaths outnumber combat deaths among soldiers, according to the AP.

Last year, the Army had 183 suicides among active-duty soldiers, up from 167 in 2011. The U.S. military as a whole had 350 suicides in 2012, compared with 301 the year before.


Global Temperatures Warmest in 4,000 Years: Report

Temperatures worldwide are warmer than at any time in the last 4,000 years and in the coming decades they could rise above levels that haven't occurred since before the last ice age, according to a new report published Friday in the journal Science.

The scientists said that even if the human activity-related global temperature increase projected for later this century is at the low end of estimates, the Earth will still be at least as warm as, or likely warmer than, it was during the warmest periods of the current geological era, The New York Times reported.

That era, called the Holocene, began about 12,000 years ago and brought a moderate climate that scientists believe led to the rise of human civilization about 8,000 years ago and continues to sustain it.

For this new report, scientists developed the most meticulous reconstruction yet of global temperatures over the past 11,300 years.

This is "another important achievement and significant result as we continue to refine our knowledge and understanding of climate change," Michael Mann, a researcher at Pennsylvania State University, told The Times.


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