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Carlson KF, Gravely AA, Noorbaloochi S, Simon AB, Bangerter AK, Sayer NA. Post-deployment injury among new combat veterans enrolled in Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare. Injury Prevention : Journal of The International Society For Child and Adolescent Injury Prevention. 2011 Oct 1; 17(5):343-7.
The purpose of this study was to examine prevalence and potential risk factors for post-deployment injury among Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans enrolled in Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare. A national, stratified sample of Iraq/Afghanistan combat Veteran VA users was surveyed in 2008. Mental and physical health, including medically-treated injuries sustained since deployment, were self-reported. Injury risk was estimated using survey logistic regression. Stratified ORs and 95% CIs were adjusted for potential confounders and non-response bias and weighted to represent the target population. Nearly half the population reported post-deployment injuries. In multivariate models, veterans with probable post-traumatic stress disorder (OR = 2.1; 95% CI 1.3 to 3.5), self-reported diagnosed depression (OR = 3.6; 95% CI 1.8 to 7.0) and anger problems (OR = 2.4; 95% CI 1.4 to 4.2) had greater odds of post-deployment injury. Deployment-related injuries were also strongly associated with odds of post-deployment injury. Results suggest that mental health disorders increase the odds of post-deployment injury among combat veteran VA users. Longitudinal research examining these associations is warranted.