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Work. 2002;18(2):141-50.

Drinking and other risk taking behaviors of enlisted male soldiers in the US Army.

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  • 1SSDS, Inc., Eight Nonesuch Drive, Natick, MA 01760-1041, USA. Jeffrey.Williams@NA.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL


High-risk drinking is among the top three prevention priorities of the Department of Defense. Research suggests that enlisted male soldiers are particularly at risk for unhealthy drinking behaviors. 292,023 enlisted male soldiers who responded to a Health Risk Appraisal (HRA) survey between 1990 and 1998 were dichotomized into high and low-risk drinking groups. Logistic regression analysis showed that high-risk drinkers wore seatbelts less frequently, were more likely to drive > 15 mph over the speed limit, and to smoke more than 20 cigarettes/day. This high-risk group was predominately young (< 25), Caucasian, high school educated or less, and most likely employed as infantrymen or craftsworkers. The two highest risk occupational groups (infantrymen and craftsworkers) differ from each other, and from other Army occupations. Intervention programs should include safe driving habits and smoking cessation, as well as high-risk drinking, and should be tailored to the specific needs of the group at highest risk.

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