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Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

thumbnail image of several MSMRsThe Medical Surveillance Monthly Report (MSMR), a peer-reviewed journal launched in 1995, is the AFHSB's flagship publication. The MSMR provides monthly evidence-based estimates of the incidence, distribution, impact, and trends of health-related conditions among service members. Additionally, the MSMR focuses one issue per year on the absolute and relative morbidity burden attributable to various illnesses and injuries among service members and beneficiaries. You may request an electronic subscription online or via email

Would you like to be published in the MSMRAuthors are welcome to submit their manuscripts to the MSMR. >>See Instructions for Authors

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Here, you can download the current and past issues of the MSMR. Inquiries regarding content or material to be considered for publication should be directed to the MSMR Editor.

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Citing the MSMR

When citing MSMR articles, please use the following formats:

Author Names Listed with the Article

Collier DA, Bayles MK, Barrett, JP. Acute gastroenteritis outbreak at the Armed Forces Retirement Home, Washington, DC, January 2011. MSMR. 2011;18(6):11-14.

No Author Name Listed (April 2007 to current)

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. Mental disorders and mental health problems, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, January 2000 – December 2009. MSMR. 2010;17(11):6-13.

No Author Name Listed (Before April 2007)

Army Medical Surveillance Activity. Overhydration and hyponatremia among active duty soldiers, 1997-1999. MSMR. 2000;6(3):9-11.


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Offspring Sex Ratio of Male Active Duty U.S. Navy Submariners, 2001–2015

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6/1/2019
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The natural human sex ratio at birth (male:female) slightly favors males, and altered sex ratios might be indicative of exposure to reproductive hazards.

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Outbreak of Cyclosporiasis in a U.S. Air Force Training Population, Joint Base San Antonio–Lackland, TX, 2018

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Surveillance Snapshot: Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Among U.S. Active Component Service Members in the Millennium Cohort Study, 2006–2017

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Norovirus Outbreak in Army Service Members, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, May 2018

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As in prior years, mental health disorders, pregnancy-related conditions, and injury/poisoning accounted for the majority (59.8%) of all hospitalizations among active component service members in 2018. However, the hospitalization rate for all causes was the lowest rate in the past 10 years.

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Female Infertility, Active Component Service Women, U.S. Armed Forces, 2013–2018

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As in prior years, mental health disorders, pregnancy-related conditions, and injury/poisoning accounted for the majority (59.8%) of all hospitalizations among active component service members in 2018. However, the hospitalization rate for all causes was the lowest rate in the past 10 years.

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Hospitalizations, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018

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5/1/2019
U.S. Navy sailors graduate from boot camp at Recruit Training Command (RTC) in 2018. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy)

As in prior years, mental health disorders, pregnancy-related conditions, and injury/poisoning accounted for the majority (59.8%) of all hospitalizations among active component service members in 2018. However, the hospitalization rate for all causes was the lowest rate in the past 10 years.

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Morbidity burdens attributable to various illnesses and injuries, deployed active and reserve component service members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018

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5/1/2019
A U.S. naval officer listens through his stethoscope to hear his patient’s lungs at Camp Schwab in Okinawa, Japan in 2018. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps) photo by Lance Cpl. Cameron Parks)

Among service members deployed during 2018, injury/poisoning, musculoskeletal diseases, and signs/symptoms accounted for more than half of the total healthcare burden while deployed. Compared to the distribution of major burden of disease categories documented in garrison, a relatively greater proportion of in-theater medical encounters due to respiratory infections, skin diseases, infectious/parasitic diseases, and digestive diseases was documented.

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Medical evacuations out of the U.S. Central Command, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018

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5/1/2019
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The number of medical evacuations for battle injuries has decreased considerably since 2014. Most medical evacuations in 2018 were attributed to mental health disorders, followed by non-battle injury/poisoning; signs, symptoms, and ill-defined conditions; musculoskeletal disorders; and digestive system disorders.

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Ambulatory visits, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018

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5/1/2019
A U.S. naval officer listens through his stethoscope to hear his patient’s lungs at Camp Schwab in Okinawa, Japan in 2018. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps) photo by Lance Cpl. Cameron Parks)

Musculoskeletal disorders and mental health disorders accounted for more than half (52.6%) of all illness- and injury-related ambulatory encounters among active component service members in 2018. Since 2014, the number of ambulatory visits for mental health disorders has decreased, while the numbers of ambulatory visits for musculoskeletal system/connective tissue disorders, nervous system and sense organ disorders, and respiratory system disorders have increased.

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Surveillance Snapshot: Illness and Injury Burdens, Reserve Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018

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Absolute and relative morbidity burdens attributable to various illnesses and injuries, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018

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In 2018, mental health disorders accounted for the largest proportions of the morbidity and healthcare burdens that affected the pediatric and younger adult beneficiary age groups. Among adults aged 45–64 years, musculoskeletal diseases accounted for the most morbidity and healthcare burdens, and among adults aged 65 years or older, cardiovascular diseases accounted for the most.

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Surveillance Snapshot: Illness and Injury Burdens, Recruit Trainees, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018

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Absolute and relative morbidity burdens attributable to various illnesses and injuries, non-service member beneficiaries of the Military Health System, 2018

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In 2018, mental health disorders accounted for the largest proportions of the morbidity and healthcare burdens that affected the pediatric and younger adult beneficiary age groups. Among adults aged 45–64 years, musculoskeletal diseases accounted for the most morbidity and healthcare burdens, and among adults aged 65 years or older, cardiovascular diseases accounted for the most.

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Update: Exertional Rhabdomyolysis, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2014–2018

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4/1/2019
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Among active component service members in 2018, there were 545 incident diagnoses of rhabdomyolysis likely due to exertional rhabdomyolysis, for an unadjusted incidence rate of 42.0 cases per 100,000 person-years. Subgroup-specific rates in 2018 were highest among males, those less than 20 years old, Asian/Pacific Islander service members, Marine Corps and Army members, and those in combat-specific or “other/unknown” occupations. During 2014–2018, crude rates of exertional rhabdomyolysis increased steadily from 2014 through 2016 after which rates declined slightly in 2017 before increasing again in 2018. Compared to service members in other race/ethnicity groups, the overall rate of exertional rhabdomyolysis was highest among non-Hispanic blacks in every year except 2018. Overall and annual rates were highest among Marine Corps members, intermediate among those in the Army, and lowest among those in the Air Force and Navy. Most cases of exertional rhabdomyolysis were diagnosed at installations that support basic combat/recruit training or major ground combat units of the Army or the Marine Corps. Medical care providers should consider exertional rhabdomyolysis in the differential diagnosis when service members (particularly recruits) present with muscular pain or swelling, limited range of motion, or the excretion of dark urine (possibly due to myoglobinuria) after strenuous physical activity, particularly in hot, humid weather.

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Incidence, Timing, and Seasonal Patterns of Heat Illnesses During U.S. Army Basic Combat Training, 2014–2018

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Risk factors for heat illnesses (HIs) among new soldiers include exercise intensity, environmental conditions at the time of exercise, a high body mass index, and conducting initial entry training during hot and humid weather when recruits are not yet acclimated to physical exertion in heat. This study used data from the Defense Health Agency’s–Weather-Related Injury Repository to calculate rates and to describe the incidence, timing, and geographic distribution of HIs among soldiers during U.S. Army basic combat training (BCT). From 2014 through 2018, HI events occurred in 1,210 trainees during BCT, resulting in an overall rate of 3.6 per 10,000 BCT person-weeks (p-wks) (95% CI: 3.4–3.8). HI rates (cases per 10,000 BCT p-wks) varied among the 4 Army BCT sites: Fort Benning, GA (6.8); Fort Jackson, SC (4.4); Fort Sill, OK (1.8); and Fort Leonard Wood, MO (1.7). Although the highest rates ofHIs occurred at Fort Benning, recruits in all geographic areas were at risk. The highest rates of HI occurred during the peak training months of June through September, and over half of all HI cases affected soldiers during the first 3 weeks of BCT. Prevention of HI among BCT soldiers requires relevant training of both recruits and cadre as well as the implementation of effective preventive measures.

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