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Widome R, Kehle SM, Carlson KF, Laska MN, Gulden A, Lust K. Post-traumatic stress disorder and health risk behaviors among Afghanistan and Iraq War veterans attending college. American Journal of Health Behavior. 2011 Jul 1; 35(4):387-92.
OBJECTIVE: To determine if post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with health risk behaviors among Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans attending college. METHOD: Using 2008 Boynton College Student Health Survey data, we tested associations between self-reported PTSD diagnosis and self-reported risk behaviors (n = 406). RESULTS: We found PTSD diagnosis to be significantly associated with reporting involvement in a physical fight in the past year (ARR = 3.1; 95% CI: 2.2, 4.4) and marginally associated with highrisk drinking (ARR = 1.3; 95% CI: 1.1, 1.6). However, no association was seen between PTSD and the tobacco use and other safety behaviors that we examined. CONCLUSION: PTSD is likely a factor that contributes to the relationship between military service and certain health risk behaviors.