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Trends and risk factors for mental health diagnoses among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans using Department of Veterans Affairs health care, 2002-2008.
Am J Public Health. 2009 Sep; 99(9):1651-8.AJ

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

We sought to investigate longitudinal trends and risk factors for mental health diagnoses among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

METHODS

We determined the prevalence and predictors of mental health diagnoses among 289,328 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans entering Veterans Affairs (VA) health care from 2002 to 2008 using national VA data.

RESULTS

Of 289,328 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, 106,726 (36.9%) received mental health diagnoses; 62,929 (21.8%) were diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and 50 432 (17.4%) with depression. Adjusted 2-year prevalence rates of PTSD increased 4 to 7 times after the invasion of Iraq. Active duty veterans younger than 25 years had higher rates of PTSD and alcohol and drug use disorder diagnoses compared with active duty veterans older than 40 years (adjusted relative risk = 2.0 and 4.9, respectively). Women were at higher risk for depression than were men, but men had over twice the risk for drug use disorders. Greater combat exposure was associated with higher risk for PTSD.

CONCLUSIONS

Mental health diagnoses increased substantially after the start of the Iraq War among specific subgroups of returned veterans entering VA health care. Early targeted interventions may prevent chronic mental illness.

Authors+Show Affiliations

San Francisco VA Medical Center, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA. Karen.Seal@va.govNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19608954

Citation

Seal, Karen H., et al. "Trends and Risk Factors for Mental Health Diagnoses Among Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Using Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care, 2002-2008." American Journal of Public Health, vol. 99, no. 9, 2009, pp. 1651-8.
Seal KH, Metzler TJ, Gima KS, et al. Trends and risk factors for mental health diagnoses among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans using Department of Veterans Affairs health care, 2002-2008. Am J Public Health. 2009;99(9):1651-8.
Seal, K. H., Metzler, T. J., Gima, K. S., Bertenthal, D., Maguen, S., & Marmar, C. R. (2009). Trends and risk factors for mental health diagnoses among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans using Department of Veterans Affairs health care, 2002-2008. American Journal of Public Health, 99(9), 1651-8. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2008.150284
Seal KH, et al. Trends and Risk Factors for Mental Health Diagnoses Among Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Using Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care, 2002-2008. Am J Public Health. 2009;99(9):1651-8. PubMed PMID: 19608954.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Trends and risk factors for mental health diagnoses among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans using Department of Veterans Affairs health care, 2002-2008. AU - Seal,Karen H, AU - Metzler,Thomas J, AU - Gima,Kristian S, AU - Bertenthal,Daniel, AU - Maguen,Shira, AU - Marmar,Charles R, Y1 - 2009/07/16/ PY - 2009/7/18/entrez PY - 2009/7/18/pubmed PY - 2009/8/29/medline SP - 1651 EP - 8 JF - American journal of public health JO - Am J Public Health VL - 99 IS - 9 N2 - OBJECTIVES: We sought to investigate longitudinal trends and risk factors for mental health diagnoses among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. METHODS: We determined the prevalence and predictors of mental health diagnoses among 289,328 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans entering Veterans Affairs (VA) health care from 2002 to 2008 using national VA data. RESULTS: Of 289,328 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, 106,726 (36.9%) received mental health diagnoses; 62,929 (21.8%) were diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and 50 432 (17.4%) with depression. Adjusted 2-year prevalence rates of PTSD increased 4 to 7 times after the invasion of Iraq. Active duty veterans younger than 25 years had higher rates of PTSD and alcohol and drug use disorder diagnoses compared with active duty veterans older than 40 years (adjusted relative risk = 2.0 and 4.9, respectively). Women were at higher risk for depression than were men, but men had over twice the risk for drug use disorders. Greater combat exposure was associated with higher risk for PTSD. CONCLUSIONS: Mental health diagnoses increased substantially after the start of the Iraq War among specific subgroups of returned veterans entering VA health care. Early targeted interventions may prevent chronic mental illness. SN - 1541-0048 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19608954/Trends_and_risk_factors_for_mental_health_diagnoses_among_Iraq_and_Afghanistan_veterans_using_Department_of_Veterans_Affairs_health_care_2002_2008_ L2 - https://www.ajph.org/doi/10.2105/AJPH.2008.150284?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -