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Iverson KM, Hendricks AM, Kimerling R, Krengel M, Meterko M, Stolzmann KL, Baker E, Pogoda TK, Vasterling JJ, Lew HL. Psychiatric diagnoses and neurobehavioral symptom severity among OEF/OIF VA patients with deployment-related traumatic brain injury: a gender comparison. Women's health issues : official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. 2011 Jul 1; 21(4 Suppl):S210-7.
BACKGROUND: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has substantial negative implications for the post-deployment adjustment of veterans who served in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF); however, most research on veterans has focused on males. This study investigated gender differences in psychiatric diagnoses and neurobehavioral symptom severity among OEF/OIF veterans with deployment-related TBI. METHODS: This population-based study examined psychiatric diagnoses and self-reported neurobehavioral symptom severity from administrative records for 12,605 United States OEF/OIF veterans evaluated as having deployment-related TBI. Men (n = 11,951) and women (n = 654) who were evaluated to have deployment-related TBI during a standardized comprehensive TBI evaluation in Department of Veterans Affairs facilities were compared on the presence of psychiatric diagnoses and severity of neurobehavioral symptoms. FINDINGS: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was the most common psychiatric condition for both genders, although women were less likely than men to have a PTSD diagnosis. In contrast, relative to men, women were 2 times more likely to have a depression diagnosis, 1.3 times more likely to have a non-PTSD anxiety disorder, and 1.5 times more likely to have PTSD with comorbid depression. Multivariate analyses indicated that blast exposure during deployment may account for some of these differences. Additionally, women reported significantly more severe symptoms across a range of neurobehavioral domains. CONCLUSION: Although PTSD was the most common condition for both men and women, it is also critical for providers to identify and treat other conditions, especially depression and neurobehavioral symptoms, among women veterans with deployment-related TBI.