Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

DHA recognizes 25 years of AFHSB's health surveillance journal

Medical technicians wearing masks and entering information on a computer Georgia Army National Guardsman Pfc. Loran Jones, a combat medic with the Marietta-based 248th Medical Company, 265th Chemical Battalion, updates patient medical records at Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center in Atlanta, Ga. In May, the Georgia National Guard strategically deployed medical support teams to hospitals to augment medical staff. (Photo by Spc. Isaiah Matthews.)

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

This year, the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch (AFHSB) celebrated the 25th anniversary of its peer-reviewed journal, the Medical Surveillance Monthly Report (MSMR). The MSMR offers readers evidence-based estimates of the health-related conditions and trends prevalent among U.S. military members and their associated populations.

“MSMR surveillance information and the published explanations of such information facilitate military leaders’ understanding of the public health measures that help to preserve the health and readiness of our armed forces,” said Dr. Francis O’Donnell, MSMR editor. Established in 1995, the MSMR was created as a flagship publication and public health authority within the Army Medical Surveillance Activity (AMSA), the forerunner of the AFHSB, a part of the Public Health Directorate at the Defense Health Agency.

“The 25 years of reports in the MSMR have dealt with a myriad of illnesses, injuries, and health threats that have challenged our military members. The rich historical record preserved in MSMR archives helps in assessments of the military importance of current health threats and in the development of policies to prevent or mitigate their medical and military operational impacts,” said Dr. John Brundage former editor and co-founder of the report.

Many studies in the MSMR are based on summaries of medical administrative data that are routinely provided to AFHSB and integrated into the Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS) for health surveillance purposes. The DMSS is an active database of health-related information on service members who have served in the military since 1990. It contains billions of records including medical encounters such as hospitalizations, outpatient visits, immunizations, reportable medical events, health risk appraisals, and deployment health assessments; demographic characteristics; and military experiences like deployments, assignments, and casualty information.

According to Brundage, Dr. Mark Rubertone, chief of AFHSB’s Data Management & Technical Support section, played an essential role in the production of the MSMR from its inception. Rubertone led the collection and assembly of military health surveillance-related data (initially, in the AMSA and then the Defense Medical Surveillance System) in the 1990s that allowed for a new method of statistical and epidemiologic analyses by military health surveillance professionals. “There would not have been a MSMR without the vision, dedication, and relentless efforts of Doctor Mark Rubertone,” credits Brundage.

“It has been a real pleasure witnessing the MSMR’s evolution to a peer-reviewed journal.  My association with the MSMR remains one of the efforts I am most proud of during my service in the DoD," stated Rubertone, as he expressed congratulations to the current and past MSMR staff on 25 years of tireless, comprehensive health surveillance reporting. This point-of-view was strongly supported by Dr. Jose “Toti” Sanchez, deputy chief, AFHSB, who since his early days at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in the early 1990’s saw the potential and relevance of this publication in providing a unique military-relevant perspective to the major public health problems faced by the U.S. military.

The MSMR is published on a monthly basis and is available online only in a downloadable PDF format. To subscribe to the MSMR, visit https://health.mil/msmr.

You also may be interested in...

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

Article
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.

Recommended Content:

Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

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

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

Recommended Content:

Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

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

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

Recommended Content:

Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

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

Article
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)

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.

Recommended Content:

Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

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

Article
5/1/2019
A senior airman of 366th Medical Support Squadron pediatric clinic checks vitals of the child of its service member at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force)

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.

Recommended Content:

Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

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

Article
5/1/2019
Airmen from the 19th Medical Group litter-carry a simulated patient onto a C-130J during an aeromedical evacuation training mission at Little Rock Air Force Base in 2019. (Photo Courtesy of U.S. Air Force)

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.

Recommended Content:

Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

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

Article
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.

Recommended Content:

Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Heat Illness

Infographic
4/1/2019
Heat Illness

This report summarizes reportable medical events of heat illness as well as heat illness-related hospitalizations and ambulatory visits among active component service members during 2018 and compares them to the previous 4 years. Episodes of heat stroke and heat exhaustion are summarized separately.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Exertional Rhabdomyolysis

Infographic
4/1/2019
Exertional Rhabdomyolysis

Each year, the MSMR summarizes the numbers, rates, trends, risk factors, and locations of occurrences of exertional heat injuries, including exertional rhabdomyolysis. This report includes the data for 2014–2018.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Exertional Hyponatremia

Infographic
4/1/2019
Exertional Hyponatremia

Each year, the MSMR summarizes the numbers, rates, trends, risk factors, and locations of occurrences of exertional heat injuries, including exertional rhabdomyolysis. This report includes the data for 2014–2018.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Lyme Disease

Infographic
4/1/2019
Lyme Disease

Each year, the MSMR summarizes the numbers, rates, trends, risk factors, and locations of occurrences of exertional heat injuries, including exertional rhabdomyolysis. This report includes the data for 2014–2018.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

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

Article
4/1/2019
U.S. Marines sprint uphill during a field training exercise at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. to maintain contact with an aviation combat element, teaching and sustaining their proficiency in setting up and maintaining communication equipment.  (Photo Courtesy: U.S. Marine Corps)

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.

Recommended Content:

Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Update: Heat Illness, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018

Article
4/1/2019
Drink water the day before and during physical activity or if heat is going to become a factor. (Photo Courtesy: U.S. Air Force)

In 2018, there were 578 incident diagnoses of heat stroke and 2,214 incident diagnoses of heat exhaustion among active component service members. The overall crude incidence rates of heat stroke and heat exhaustion diagnoses were 0.45 cases and 1.71 cases per 1,000 person-years, respectively. In 2018, subgroup-specific rates of incident heat stroke diagnoses were highest among males and service members less than 20 years old, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Marine Corps and Army members, recruit trainees, and those in combat-specific occupations. Subgroup-specific incidence rates of heat exhaustion diagnoses in 2018 were notably higher among service members less than 20 years old, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Army and Marine Corps members, recruit trainees, and service members in combat-specific occupations. During 2014–2018, a total of 325 heat illnesses were documented among service members in Iraq and Afghanistan; 8.6% (n=28) were diagnosed as heat stroke. Commanders, small unit leaders, training cadre, and supporting medical personnel must ensure that the military members whom they supervise and support are informed about the risks, preventive countermeasures, early signs and symptoms, and first-responder actions related to heat illnesses.

Recommended Content:

Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Update: Exertional Hyponatremia, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2003–2018

Article
4/1/2019
Drink water the day before and during physical activity or if heat is going to become a factor. (Photo Courtesy: U.S. Air Force)

From 2003 through 2018, there were 1,579 incident diagnoses of exertional hyponatremia among active component service members, for a crude overall incidence rate of 7.2 cases per 100,000 person-years (p-yrs). Compared to their respective counterparts, females, those less than 20 years old, and recruit trainees had higher overall incidence rates of exertional hyponatremia diagnoses. The overall incidence rate during the 16-year period was highest in the Marine Corps, intermediate in the Army and Air Force, and lowest in the Navy. Overall rates during the surveillance period were highest among Asian/Pacific Islander and non-Hispanic white service members and lowest among non-Hispanic black service members. Between 2003 and 2018, crude annual incidence rates of exertional hyponatremia peaked in 2010 (12.7 per 100,000 p-yrs) and then decreased to 5.3 cases per 100,000 p-yrs in 2013 before increasing in 2014 and 2015. The crude annual rate in 2018 (6.3 per 100,000 p-yrs) represented a decrease of 26.5% from 2015. Service members and their supervisors must be knowledgeable of the dangers of excessive water consumption and the prescribed limits for water intake during prolonged physical activity (e.g., field training exercises, personal fitness training, and recreational activities) in hot, humid weather.

Recommended Content:

Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Modeling Lyme Disease Host Animal Habitat Suitability, West Point, New York

Article
4/1/2019
A deer basks in the morning sun at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas.  (Photo Courtesy: U.S. Air Force)

As the most frequently reported vector-borne disease among active component U.S. service members, with an incidence rate of 16 cases per 100,000 person-years in 2011, Lyme disease poses both a challenge to healthcare providers in the Military Health System and a threat to military readiness. Spread through the bite of an infected blacklegged tick, infection with the bacterial cause of Lyme disease can have lasting effects that may lead to medical discharge from the military. The U.S. Military Academy at West Point is situated in a highly endemic area in New York State. To identify probable areas where West Point cadets as well as active duty service members stationed at West Point and their families might contract Lyme disease, this study used Geographic Information System mapping methods and remote sensing data to replicate an established spatial model to identify the likely habitat of a key host animal—the white-tailed deer.

Recommended Content:

Medical Surveillance Monthly Report
<< < ... 11 12 13 14 15  ... > >> 
Showing results 166 - 180 Page 12 of 22

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.