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Mil Med. 2010 Aug;175(8):567-73.

Predictors of sleep disturbances in Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom veterans reporting a trauma.

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  • 1Philadelphia Veterans Medical Center, MIRECC (116, 2nd floor), University and Woodland Avenues, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


This investigation assessed the extent to which various health factors are associated with difficulties initiating and maintaining sleep (DIMS) and nightmares among Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) veterans reporting a trauma (combat, noncombat, or a trauma before service). Veterans (N = 201, 88.1% male, mean age = 34.2, SD = 10.1) were referred by primary care for a behavioral health assessment upon evidence of psychiatric symptoms. Sleep problems were assessed using items from the PTSD checklist. After controlling for demographics and nonsleep PTSD symptoms, head injury with a loss of consciousness increased the likelihood of severe nightmares (OR = 3.77, p = 0.019), alcohol abuse or dependence increased the likelihood of moderate nightmares (OR = 4.80, p = 0.007), and greater nonsleep depression increased the likelihood of severe DIMS (OR = 1.20, p = 0.008). Thus, factors aside from PTSD severity are related to sleep disturbance in OIF/OEF veterans reporting a trauma.

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