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Gender Differences in Lifetime Prevalence and Onset Timing of Suicidal Ideation and Suicide Attempt Among Post-9/11 Veterans and Nonveterans.
Hoffmire CA, Monteith LL, Forster JE, Bernhard PA, Blosnich JR, Vogt D, Maguen S, Smith AA, Schneiderman AI. Gender Differences in Lifetime Prevalence and Onset Timing of Suicidal Ideation and Suicide Attempt Among Post-9/11 Veterans and Nonveterans. Medical care. 2021 Feb 1; 59:S84-S91.
Rising US suicide rates are particularly notable among military veterans, especially women. It is unknown whether these differences extend to suicidal ideation (SI) and suicide attempts (SA), which are major predictors of suicide. Literature comparing SI and SA prevalence and timing of onset between veterans and nonveterans is limited.
The objective of this study was to estimate and compare SI and SA prevalence and onset timing relative to age and military service between veterans and nonveterans, by gender.
Gender-stratified analysis of cross-sectional data from the Comparative Health Assessment Interview Study. Generalized estimating equations logistic regression was used to compare prevalence and onset of SI and SA between time periods and across groups, controlling for years at risk in each time period.
National sample of 15,082 post-9/11 veterans (36.7% women) and 4638 nonveterans (30.5% women).
Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale adapted to assess SI and SA relative to age (less than 18?y, 18?y and above) and military service (pre-, during, and post-military).
Veteran men experienced significantly higher odds of lifetime SI compared with nonveteran men (odds ratio = 1.13), whereas veteran women experienced significantly higher odds of lifetime SA compared with nonveteran women (odds ratio = 1.35). SI and SA onset varied considerably for veterans and nonveterans and by gender within veteran groups.
Veterans and nonveterans appear to differ in periods of risk for SI and SA. Furthermore, gender differences in SI and SA onset for veterans highlight the need for gender-informed veteran suicide prevention strategies that target periods of highest risk.