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Military Health System Studies Inventory Tool

Welcome to the Military Health System Studies Inventory Tool (MSIT). Military Health System (MHS) data are used by Department of Defense, Veterans Administration, and academic health professionals and scientists to implement health care studies. These studies reflect the MHS interest to rigorously assess and improve our beneficiaries’ access to the high quality health care services they need. Additionally, these studies are frequently used to develop or improve MHS policy and often adopt useful, relevant comparisons to the national health care experience.

The MSIT allows easy review of recent studies that are either conducted or sponsored by the MHS, or accomplished using datasets developed or maintained by the Defense Health Agency for administrative, operational, or research purposes. The studies within this website represent important contributions of the MHS to the national health care dialogue and reflect our capacity to tackle the challenging issues needed to support evidence-informed health policy. Thank you for your interest in them.

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Military report more complementary and alternative medicine use than civilians

Study

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The study objective was to estimate complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among active duty military and compare data with civilian use. DESIGN: A global survey on CAM use in the 12 previous months was conducted. Final participants (16,146) were stratified by gender, service, region, and pay grade. Analysis included prevalence of CAM use, demographic and lifestyle characteristics. RESULTS: Approximately 45% of respondents reported using at least one type of CAM therapy. Most commonly used therapies were as follows: prayer for one's own health (24.4%), massage therapy (14.1%), and relaxation techniques (10.8%). After exclusion of prayer for one's own health, adjusting to the 2000 U.S. census, overall CAM use in the military (44.5%) was higher than that in comparable civilian surveys (36.0% and 38.3%). CONCLUSIONS: Military personnel reported using three CAM stress-reduction therapies at 2.5-7 times the rate of civilians. Among the military, high utilization of CAM practices that reduce stress may serve as markers for practitioners assessing an individual's health and well-being

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Army
  • Release Date/Publication: June 01, 2013
  • Citation: Military report more complementary and alternative medicine use than civilians. Goertz C, Marriott BP, Finch MD, Bray RM, Williams TV, Hourani LL, Hadden LS, Colleran HL, Jonas WB.J Altern Complement Med. 2013 Jun;19(6):509-17

Neuropsychiatric events in varenicline and nicotine replacement patch users in the Military Health System.

Study

Abstract

To determine the rate ratio of neuropsychiatric hospitalizations in new users of varenicline compared to new users of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) patch in the Military Health System (MHS). DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Varenicline (n = 19,933) and NRT patch (n = 15,867) users who initiated therapy from 1 August 2006 to 31 August 2007 within the MHS were included in this retrospective cohort study. After matching according to propensity scores, 10,814 users remained in each cohort. The study population included those with and without a history of neuropsychiatric disease. MEASUREMENTS: Patients were followed for neuropsychiatric hospitalizations defined by primary neuropsychiatric discharge diagnosis using ICD-9 codes from in-patient administrative claims. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated after propensity score matching on exposure for socio-demographic factors, health-care utilization, comorbidities, medication history and neuropsychiatric history. FINDINGS: There was no increase in the rate of neuropsychiatric hospitalizations in patients treated with varenicline compared to NRT patch when followed for 30 days (propensity-score matched HR = 1.14, 95% CI: 0.56-2.34). Results were similar after 60 days of follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: There does not appear to be an increase in neuropsychiatric hospitalizations with varenicline compared with nicotine replacement therapy patch over 30 or 60 days after drug initiation

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Army
  • Sponsoring Office: DoD Pharmacoeconomic Center
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Army
  • Release Date/Publication: January 01, 2013
  • Citation: Meyer TE, Taylor LG, Xie S, Graham DJ, Mosholder AD, Williams JR, Moeny D, Ouellet-Hellstrom RP, Coster TS. Neuropsychiatric events in varenicline and nicotine replacement patch users in the Military Health System. Addiction. 2013 Jan;108(1):203-10.

Is military deployment a risk factor for maternal depression?

Study

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Maternal depression is a common condition among new mothers that can be associated with poor maternal health and negative consequences on infant health. Little research has been conducted to examine maternal depression, especially among military mothers, where unique conditions often exist. Using data from a large military cohort, this study prospectively examined the relationship between deployment experience before and after childbirth and maternal depression among U.S. service women. METHODS: The study included 1,660 female Millennium Cohort participants who gave birth during active duty service and completed baseline and follow-up questionnaires between 2001 and 2008. Maternal depression was assessed at follow-up using Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders Patient Health Questionnaire criteria. RESULTS: Deployment before childbirth, regardless of combat experience, and deployment without combat experience after childbirth did not increase the risk of maternal depression. Women who deployed and reported combat experience after childbirth were at increased risk for maternal depression compared with nondeployed women who gave birth (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.01, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.17-3.43). Among the subgroup of female combat deployers, however, women who gave birth did not have a significantly increased risk for depression compared with those who did not give birth. CONCLUSIONS: Military women who deployed with combatlike experiences after childbirth were at increased risk for postdeployment maternal depression. The risk, however, appeared primarily related to combat rather than childbirth-related experiences.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Navy
  • Sponsoring Office:
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Undetermined
  • Release Date/Publication: January 01, 2013
  • Citation: Nguyen S, Leardmann CA, Smith B, Conlin AM, Slymen DJ, Hooper TI, et. al. Is military deployment a risk factor for maternal depression? J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2013 Jan;22(1):9-18.

Low vitamin D status and suicide: a case-control study of active duty military service members.

Study

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Considering that epidemiological studies show that suicide rates in many countries are highest in the spring when vitamin D status is lowest, and that low vitamin D status can affect brain function, we sought to evaluate if a low level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] could be a predisposing factor for suicide. METHOD: We conducted a prospective, nested, case-control study using serum samples stored in the Department of Defense Serum Repository. Participants were previously deployed active duty US military personnel (2002-2008) who had a recent archived serum sample available for analysis. Vitamin D status was estimated by measuring 25(OH) D levels in serum samples drawn within 24 months of the suicide. Each verified suicide case (n = 495) was matched to a control (n = 495) by rank, age and sex. We calculated odds ratio of suicide associated with categorical levels (octiles) of 25(OH) D, adjusted by season of serum collection. FINDINGS: More than 30% of all subjects had 25(OH)D values below 20 ng/mL. Although mean serum 25(OH)D concentrations did not differ between suicide cases and controls, risk estimates indicated that subjects in the lowest octile of season-adjusted 25(OH)D (<15.5 ng/mL) had the highest risk of suicide, with subjects in the subsequent higher octiles showing approximately the same level of decreased risk (combined odds ratio compared to lowest octile = 0.49; 95% C.I.: 0.315-0.768). CONCLUSIONS: Low vitamin D status is common in active duty service members. The lowest 25(OH)D levels are associated with an increased risk for suicide. Future studies could determine if additional sunlight exposure and vitamin D supplementation might reduce suicide by increasing 25(OH) D levels.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Government, academic, or industry source other than Federal Government
  • Release Date/Publication: January 01, 2013
  • Citation: Umhau JC, George DT, Heaney RP, Lewis MD, Ursano RJ, Heilig M, Hibbeln JR, Schwandt ML. Low vitamin D status and suicide: a case-control study of active duty military service members. PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e51543.

Risk factors associated with suicide in current and former US military personnel.

Study

Abstract

IMPORTANCE: Beginning in 2005, the incidence of suicide deaths in the US military began to sharply increase. Unique stressors, such as combat deployments, have been assumed to underlie the increasing incidence. Previous military suicide studies, however, have relied on case series and cross-sectional investigations and have not linked data during service with postservice periods. OBJECTIVE: To prospectively identify and quantify risk factors associated with suicide in current and former US military personnel including demographic, military, mental health, behavioral, and deployment characteristics. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Prospective longitudinal study with accrual and assessment of participants in 2001, 2004, and 2007. Questionnaire data were linked with the National Death Index and the Department of Defense Medical Mortality Registry through December 31, 2008. Participants were current and former US military personnel from all service branches, including active and Reserve/National Guard, who were included in the Millennium Cohort Study (N = 151,560). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Death by suicide captured by the National Death Index and the Department of Defense Medical Mortality Registry. RESULTS: Through the end of 2008, findings were 83 suicides in 707,493 person-years of follow-up (11.73/100,000 person-years [95% CI, 9.21-14.26]). In Cox models adjusted for age and sex, factors significantly associated with increased risk of suicide included male sex, depression, manic-depressive disorder, heavy or binge drinking, and alcohol-related problems. None of the deployment-related factors (combat experience, cumulative days deployed, or number of deployments) were associated with increased suicide risk in any of the models. In multivariable Cox models, individuals with increased risk for suicide were men (hazard ratio [HR], 2.14; 95% CI, 1.17-3.92; P = .01; attributable risk [AR], 3.5 cases/10,000 persons), and those with depression (HR, 1.96; 95% CI, 1.05-3.64; P = .03; AR, 6.9/10,000 persons), manic-depressive disorder (HR, 4.35; 95% CI, 1.56-12.09; P = .005; AR, 35.6/10,000 persons), or alcohol-related problems (HR, 2.56; 95% CI, 1.56-4.18; P <.001; AR, 7.7/10,000 persons). A nested, matched case-control analysis using 20:1 control participants per case confirmed these findings. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this sample of current and former military personnel observed July 1, 2001-December 31, 2008, suicide risk was independently associated with male sex and mental disorders but not with military-specific variables. These findings may inform approaches to mitigating suicide risk in this population.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: DoD agency, office, or organization other than the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Defense Health Agency
  • Sponsoring Office:
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Agency, office or organization under authority of the Sec Def (not affiliated to Army, Navy, or Air Force)
  • Release Date/Publication: August 01, 2013
  • Citation: LeardMann CA, Powell TM, Smith TC, Bell MR, Smith B, Boyko EJ, Hooper TI, Gackstetter GD, Ghamsary M, Hoge CW. Risk factors associated with suicide in current and former US military personnel. JAMA. 2013 Aug 7;310(5):496-506

The association between US Army enlistment waivers and subsequent behavioral and social health outcomes and attrition from service

Study

Abstract

Soldiers granted enlistment waivers for medical concerns, misconduct, or positive alcohol/drug tests may or may not be associated with an increased likelihood of negative behavioral outcomes. Soldiers in the population examined (n = 8,943) who were granted enlistment waivers from 2003 to 2008 were significantly more likely to subsequently be screened for alcohol/substance abuse, test positive for illicit substances, or receive an Army separation for behavioral misconduct. These associations were highest among Soldiers granted waivers for nonlawful alcohol/drug violations. Soldiers granted waivers for felony offenses and serious nontraffic violations were significantly less likely to separate from the Army compared with Soldiers not granted enlistment waivers.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Army
  • Sponsoring Office: US Army Institute of Public Health
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Army
  • Release Date/Publication: March 01, 2013
  • Citation: Gallaway MS, Bell MR, Lagana-Riordan C, Fink DS, Meyer CE, Millikan AM. The association between US Army enlistment waivers and subsequent behavioral and social health outcomes and attrition from service. Mil Med. 2013 Mar;178(3):261-6.

Suicide incidence and risk factors in an active duty US military population.

Study

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The goal of this study was to investigate and identify risk factors for suicide among all active duty members of the US military during 2005 or 2007. METHODS: The study used a cross-sectional design and included the entire active duty military population. Study sample sizes were 2,064,183 for 2005 and 1,981,810 for 2007. Logistic regression models were used. RESULTS: Suicide rates for all services increased during this period. Mental health diagnoses, mental health visits, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), sleep prescriptions, reduction in rank, enlisted rank, and separation or divorce were associated with suicides. Deployments to Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom were also associated with elevated odds ratios for all services in the 2007 population and for the Army in 2005. CONCLUSIONS: Additional research needs to address the increasing rates of suicide in active duty personnel. This should include careful evaluation of suicide prevention programs and the possible increase in risk associated with SSRIs and other mental health drugs, as well as the possible impact of shorter deployments, age, mental health diagnoses, and relationship problems

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Release Date/Publication: March 01, 2013
  • Citation: Hyman J, Ireland R, Frost L, Cottrell L. Suicide incidence and risk factors in an active duty US military population. Am J Public Health. 2012 Mar;102 Suppl 1:S138-46.

Trends in the diagnosis of SLAP lesions in the US military.

Study

Abstract

PURPOSE: Shoulder pathology, particularly SLAP (superior labrum anterior-posterior) lesions, is prevalent in overhead athletes and physically active individuals. The aim of this study is to quantify the burden of SLAP lesions in the military and establish risk factors for diagnosis. METHODS: A retrospective analysis of all service members diagnosed with a SLAP lesion (International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision code 840.70) in the Defense Medical Epidemiological Database between 2002 and 2009 was performed. Available epidemiological risk factors including age, sex, race, military rank, and branch of service were evaluated using multivariate Poisson regression analysis, and cumulative and subgroup incidence rates were calculated. RESULTS: During the study period, approximately 23,632 SLAP lesions were diagnosed among a population at risk of 11,082,738, resulting in an adjusted incidence rate of 2.13 per 1,000 person-years. The adjusted annual incidence rate for SLAP lesions increased from 0.31 cases per 1,000 person-years in 2002 to 1.88 cases per 1,000 person-years in 2009, with an average annual increase of 21.2 % (95 % CI 20.7 %, 22.0 %, p < 0.0001) during the study period. Age, sex, race, branch of military service, and military rank were independent risk factors associated with the incidence rate of SLAP lesion (p < 0.01). Male service members were over twofold more likely (IRR, 2.12; 95 % CI 2.01, 2.23) to sustain a SLAP lesion when compared with females. Increasing age category was associated with a statistically significant increase in the incidence rate for SLAP lesions in the present study (p < 0.001). After controlling for the other variables, those individuals of white race, enlisted ranks, or Marine Corps service experienced the highest incidence rates for SLAP. CONCLUSION: This is the first study to establish the epidemiology of SLAP lesions within an active military cohort in the American population. Sex, age, race, military rank, and branch of military service were all independently associated with the incidence rate of SLAP lesions in this physically active population at high risk for shoulder injury. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Army
  • Sponsoring Office:
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Undetermined
  • Release Date/Publication: December 01, 2013
  • Citation: Waterman BR, Cameron KL, Hsiao M, Langston JR, Clark NJ, Owens BD. Trends in the diagnosis of SLAP lesions in the US military. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2013 Dec 10.

Willingness to receive a hypothetical avian influenza vaccine among US military personnel in mid-deployment.

Study

Abstract

Though no avian influenza vaccine currently exists, development efforts have increased. Given recent reports of suboptimal vaccination rates among US military personnel, we sought to assess factors associated with a willingness to receive a hypothetical avian influenza vaccine. A self-administered questionnaire was completed by US military personnel during mid-deployment to Iraq, Afghanistan, and surrounding regions. Respondents were predominately male (86.2%), Army (72.1%), and enlisted (86.3%) with a mean age of 29.6 y. The majority (77.1%) agreed to receive an avian influenza vaccine if available. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) identified two factors, vaccine importance and disease risk, that best described the individual perceptions and both were associated with an increased willingness to receive the hypothetical vaccine (OR: 8.2 and 1.6, respectively). Importantly, after controlling for these factors differences in the willingness to receive this hypothetical vaccine were observed across gender and branch of service. These results indicated that targeted education on vaccine safety and efficacy as well as disease risk may modify vaccination patterns in this population.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Agency, office or organization under authority of the Sec Def (not affiliated to Army, Navy, or Air Force)
  • Release Date/Publication: December 01, 2013
  • Citation: Porter CK, Fitamaurice G, Tribble DR, Armstrong AW, Mostafa M, Riddle MS. Willingness to receive a hypothetical avian influenza vaccine among US military personnel in mid-deployment. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2013 Dec;9(12):2613-7.

Effects of Iraq/Afghanistan deployments on major depression and substance use disorder: analysis of active duty personnel in the US military

Study

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Our objective was to analyze the association between deployment characteristics and diagnostic rates for major depression and substance use disorder among active duty personnel. METHODS: Using active duty personnel serving between 2001 and 2006 (n = 678,382) and deployment information from the Contingent Tracking System, we identified individuals diagnosed with substance use disorders and major depression from TRICARE health records. We performed logistic regression analysis to assess the effect of deployment location and length on these diagnostic rates. RESULTS: Increased odds of diagnosis with both conditions were associated with deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan compared with nondeployed personnel and with Army and Marine Corps personnel compared with Navy and Air Force personnel. Increases in the likelihood of either diagnosis with deployment length were only observed among Army personnel. CONCLUSIONS: There were increased substance use disorders and major depression across services associated with combat conditions. It would be important to assess whether the public health system has adequate resources to handle the increasing need of mental health services in this population.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Navy
  • Release Date/Publication: March 01, 2013
  • Citation: Shen YC, Arkes J, Williams TV. Effects of Iraq/Afghanistan deployments on major depression and substance use disorder: analysis of active duty personnel in the US military. Am J Public Health. 2012 Mar;102 Suppl 1:S80-7.

Epidemiology of Clostridium difficile infection among active duty United States military personnel (1998-2010).

Study

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Clostridium difficile associated disease (CDAD) has risen in incidence and the experience in the US military has not been described. METHODS: We evaluated the U.S. military's database and identified CDAD cases and demographic characteristics among affected military personnel from 1998 to 2010. RESULTS: 2,423 cases were identified. CDAD incidence was 13.2 cases (95% CI: 12.7-13.7) per 100 K p-yr and increased over study years. CA-CDAD and HA-CDAD incidence was 5.5 (95% CI: 5.2, 5.9) per 100 K p-y and 1.3 (95% CI: 1.2, 1.4) per 1,000 hospitalizations respectively. Females comprised a larger proportion of CA-CDAD than HA-CDAD (25.5% vs. 19.3%; p < 0.001) cases as did Air Force service (29% vs. 23.4%; p < 0.01). On multivariate analysis female gender, Coast Guard or Air Force service, and a married status was associated with CA-CDAD whereas Male gender and Marine Corps service were associated with HA-CDAD cases. CONCLUSIONS: CDAD has increased among military personnel, with female cases more likely to be community associated. Gender, marital status and branch of service had the strongest association with CDAD subtype. Further work is needed to evaluate the epidemiologic factors that have led to these increased rates in otherwise low-risk populations and associated sequelae.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences/Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Agency, office or organization under authority of the Sec Def (not affiliated to Army, Navy, or Air Force)
  • Release Date/Publication: December 01, 2013
  • Citation: Gutiérrez RL, Riddle MS, Porter CK. Epidemiology of Clostridium difficile infection among active duty United States military personnel (1998-2010). BMC Infect Dis. 2013 Dec 28;13:609.

Combining surveillance systems: effective merging of U.S. Veteran and military health data.

Study

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) had more than 18 million healthcare beneficiaries in 2011. Both Departments conduct individual surveillance for disease events and health threats. METHODS: We performed joint and separate analyses of VA and DoD outpatient visit data from October 2006 through September 2010 to demonstrate geographic and demographic coverage, timeliness of influenza epidemic awareness, and impact on spatial cluster detection achieved from a joint VA and DoD biosurveillance platform. RESULTS: Although VA coverage is greater, DoD visit volume is comparable or greater. Detection of outbreaks was better in DoD data for 58% and 75% of geographic areas surveyed for seasonal and pandemic influenza, respectively, and better in VA data for 34% and 15%. The VA system tended to alert earlier with a typical H3N2 seasonal influenza affecting older patients, and the DoD performed better during the H1N1 pandemic which affected younger patients more than normal influenza seasons. Retrospective analysis of known outbreaks demonstrated clustering evidence found in separate DoD and VA runs, which persisted with combined data sets. CONCLUSION: The analyses demonstrate two complementary surveillance systems with evident benefits for the national health picture. Relative timeliness of reporting could be improved in 92% of geographic areas with access to both systems, and more information provided in areas where only one type of facility exists. Combining DoD and VA data enhances geographic cluster detection capability without loss of sensitivity to events isolated in either population and has a manageable effect on customary alert rates.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Agency, office or organization under authority of the Sec Def (not affiliated to Army, Navy, or Air Force)
  • Release Date/Publication: December 01, 2013
  • Citation: Pavlin JA, Burkom HS, Elbert Y, Lucero-Obusan C, Winston CA, Cox KL, Oda G, Lombardo JS, Holodniy M. Combining surveillance systems: effective merging of U.S. Veteran and military health data. PLoS One. 2013 Dec 26;8(12):e84077.

A case-control study of incident rheumatological conditions following acute gastroenteritis during military deployment.

Study

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to assess the risk of incident rheumatological diagnoses (RD) associated with self-reported diarrhoea and vomiting during a first-time deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. Such an association would provide evidence that RD in this population may include individuals with reactive arthritis (ReA) from deployment-related infectious gastroenteritis. DESIGN: This case-control epidemiological study used univariate and multivariate logistic regression to compare the odds of self-reported diarrhoea/vomiting among deployed US military personnel with incident RD to the odds of diarrhoea/vomiting among a control population. SETTING: We analysed health records of personnel deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, including responses on a postdeployment health assessment and medical follow-up postdeployment. PARTICIPANTS: Anonymous data were obtained from 891 US military personnel with at least 6 months of medical follow-up following a first-time deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan in 2008-2009. Cases were defined using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) diagnosis codes; controls had an unrelated medical encounter and were representative of the study population. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary measure was an association between incident RD and self-reported diarrhoea/vomiting during deployment. A secondary measure was the overall incidence of RD in this population. RESULTS: We identified 98 cases of new onset RD, with a total incidence of 161/100 000 persons. Of those, two participants had been diagnosed with Reiter's disease (i) (3.3/100 000 persons) and the remainder with non-specific arthritis/arthralgia (157.5/100 000 persons). The OR for acute diarrhoea was 2.67 (p=0.03) after adjusting for important covariates. CONCLUSIONS: Incident rheumatological conditions, even those classified as 'non-specific,' are significantly associated with prior severe diarrhoea in previously deployed military personnel, potentially indicating ReA and need for preventive measures to reduce diarrhoeagenic bacterial exposures in military personnel and other travellers to the developing regions.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Navy
  • Sponsoring Office:
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Agency, office or organization under authority of the Sec Def (not affiliated to Army, Navy, or Air Force)
  • Release Date/Publication: December 01, 2013
  • Citation: Deyoung KH, Riddle MS, May L, Porter CK. A case-control study of incident rheumatological conditions following acute gastroenteritis during military deployment. BMJ Open. 2013 Dec 5;3(12):e003801.

Syncope among U.S. Air Force basic military trainees, August 2012-July 2013.

Study

Abstract

Syncope is a common event with many possible etiologies, ranging from benign to severe. Syncopal episodes of any origin, however, may result in traumatic injury due to postural collapse. Based on the prevalence of internal and external stressors during training, basic military trainees may be at increased risk for syncope. Between 1 August 2012 and 31 July 2013, there were 112 unique individuals who experienced syncopal or pre-syncopal events among basic military trainees at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, the only basic training site in the U.S. Air Force. The overall rate was 19.6 cases per 1,000 person-years (18.4 and 36.1 per 1,000 person-years in males and females, respectively). Based upon the findings of electronic chart review of the 112 cases, a majority of events occurred either during or immediately after exercise (n=38) or during a blood draw, immunization, or laceration repair (n=22). The most common etiologies were judged to be neurocardiogenic (n=54) and orthostatic hypotension (n=40), and two cases were attributed to cardiovascular disease. These findings support current preventive measures, including anemia screening during medical in-processing, an emphasis on hydration throughout training, and a padded floor in the trainee vaccination bay.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Undetermined
  • Release Date/Publication: November 01, 2013
  • Citation: Webber BJ, Cropper TL, Federinko SP. Syncope among U.S. Air Force basic military trainees, August 2012-July 2013. MSMR. 2013 Nov;20(11):2-4.

Deployment-related injury and posttraumatic stress disorder in US military personnel.

Study

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The current military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have resulted in the most US casualties since the Vietnam War. Previous research on the association between deployment-related injury and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has yielded mixed results. OBJECTIVES: To examine the effect of battle injury (BI) relative to non-battle injury (NBI) on the manifestation of PTSD symptoms in military personnel and to assess the demographic, injury-specific, and pre-injury factors associated with PTSD following a BI. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 3403 personnel with deployment-related injury (1777 BI and 1626 NBI) were identified from the Expeditionary Medical Encounter Database. Records were electronically matched to Post-Deployment Health Assessment (PDHA) data completed 1-6 months post-injury. The PTSD screening outcome was identified using a four-item screening tool on the PDHA. RESULTS: Compared to those with NBI, personnel with BI had more severe injuries, reported higher levels of combat exposure, and had higher rates of positive PTSD screen. After adjusting for covariates, personnel with BI were twice as likely to screen positive for PTSD compared to those with NBI (odds ratio [OR], 2.10; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.60-2.75). In multivariable analysis among battle-injured personnel only, moderate and serious-severe injury (OR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.12-2.00 and OR, 1.64; 95% CI, 1.01-2.68, respectively), previous mental health diagnosis within 1 year of deployment (OR, 2.69; 95% CI, 1.50-4.81), and previous BI (OR, 1.96; 95% CI, 1.22-3.16) predicted a positive PTSD screen. CONCLUSIONS: Military personnel with BI have increased odds of positive PTSD screen following combat deployment compared to those with NBI. Post-deployment health questionnaires may benefit from questions that specifically address whether service members experienced an injury during combat.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Navy
  • Sponsoring Office:
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Undetermined
  • Release Date/Publication: November 01, 2013
  • Citation: Macgregor AJ, Tang JJ, Dougherty AL, Galarneau MR. Deployment-related injury and posttraumatic stress disorder in US military personnel. Injury. 2013 Nov;44(11):1458-64.
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