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The impact of deployment on COPD in active duty military personnel.

Publication Status: Published

Sponsoring Organization: Army

Sponsoring Office:

Congressionally Mandated: No

Funding Source: Army

Release Date/Publication: November 01, 2014

Principle Investigator Status: Government

Primary DoD Data Source: Military Health System (MHS) Data Repository

Secondary DoD Data Source:

Abstract

PURPOSE: To identify trends in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) diagnoses among active duty U.S. military personnel based on deployment history and whether International Classification of Disease, 9th edition (ICD-9) coding meet criteria for the diagnosis of COPD.

METHODS: A retrospective chart review using the electronic medical system was conducted for military personnel diagnosed with COPD based on ICD-9 codes for emphysema or chronic obstructive lung disease with at least three qualifying outpatient COPD-coded encounters. Clinical symptoms, smoking history, pulmonary function testing, and radiographs obtained during the diagnostic workup were reviewed. The established diagnosis of COPD was analyzed in relation to deployment.

RESULTS: A total of 371 patients were identified during the study period (2005-2009). Of these patients, 194 (52.3%) deployed, whereas 177 (47.7%) did not deploy to Southwest Asia since 2003. Thirty-four percent had no documented smoking history despite the diagnosis of COPD. Airway obstruction was identified by spirometry in only 67% of individuals diagnosed with COPD. No statistically significant differences in pulmonary function testing values were identified between those deployed and nondeployed individuals.

CONCLUSION: Despite evidence of increased respiratory symptoms in deployed military personnel, the impact of deployment on increased diagnosis of COPD or severity of disease appears minimal.

Citation:

Matthews T, Abraham J, Zacher LL, Morris MJ. The impact of deployment on COPD in active duty military personnel. Mil Med. 2014 Nov;179(11):1273-8.

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