Postwar mortality among Australian World War II prisoners of the Japanese.Med J Aust 1989; 150(7):378-82MJ
The impact of detention as a prisoner of war on postwar survival and disease-specific mortality was examined in Australian veterans of World War II. A random sample of 908 ex-prisoners and 797 other veterans of the same theatre of war, all of whom had returned to Australia alive, was traced over the 40 years since the war. The date and cause of death were recorded for those who were found to have died. By means of the subject-years method, the mortality of the prisoners of war was compared with that of the non-prisoners of war while the analysis controlled for the length of follow-up and the subject's age at the close of the war. The prisoners of war showed a higher over-all mortality rate than did the non-prisoners of war. This difference was pronounced in the period from five to 14 years after the war but diminished subsequently. There also was an indication that this effect varied with the subject's age at the end of the war: prisoners of war who were aged 25-29 years at that time had the highest mortality differential from non-prisoners of war, followed by prisoners of war who were aged 30-34 years. However, log-linear modelling, which controlled for age and the follow-up period, did not suggest that these mortality differences could be attributed to particular causes of death.