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Mil Med. 2003 Mar;168(3):177-81.

Suicidal admissions in the United States military.

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  • 1Walter Reed Army Center, Washington, DC, USA.


Suicide is currently the second leading cause of death in the U.S. military. Little recent research has been done on a well-defined cohort at high risk for death by suicide, which consist of military patients who attempt suicide or are admitted for suicidal ideation. As a pilot investigation based on a literature review of suicidal behavior in the U.S. military, 100 consecutive charts of suicidal patients at a tertiary military treatment facility were reviewed. The findings included the following: 94% were admitted with a depressed mood; 67% had a history of previous attempts or gestures; 49% had been treated with psychiatric medication prior to admission and 88% were treated with psychiatric medications while on the ward; 47% returned to a full duty status; 29% were recommended for administrative separation; and 18% were recommended for a medical board. Suggestions for future research are presented to help improve our suicide prevention programs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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