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J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2012 Oct;73(4 Suppl 3):S236-42. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e31827035f2.

Injury-related hospital admissions of military dependents compared with similarly aged nonmilitary insured infants, children, and adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.



Military deployment of one or both parents is associated with declines in school performance, behavioral difficulties, and increases in reported mental health conditions, but less is known regarding injury risks in pediatric military dependents.


Kid Health Care Cost and Utilization Project 2006 (KID) was used to identify military dependents aged 0.1 year to 17 years through expected insurance payer being CHAMPUS, Tricare, or CHAMPVA (n = 12,310) and similarly aged privately insured nonmilitary in CHAMPUS, Tricare, or CHAMPVA states (n = 730,065). Mental health diagnoses per 1,000 hospitalizations and mechanisms of injury per 1,000 injury-related hospitalizations are reported. Unweighted univariate analyses used Fisher's exact, χ(2), and analysis of variance tests for significance. Odds ratios are age and sex adjusted with 95% confidence intervals.


Injury-related admissions were higher in military than in nonmilitary dependents (15.5% vs. 13.2%, p < 0.0001). Age- and sex-adjusted motor vehicle occupant and pedestrian injuries were significantly lower in all-age military dependents but not in age-stratified categories. Very young military dependents had higher all-cause injury admissions (p < 0.0001), drowning/near drowning (p < 0.0001), and intracranial injury (p < 0.0001) and showed a tendency toward higher suffocation (p = 0.055) and crushing injury (p = 0.065). Military adolescents and teenagers had higher suicide/suicide attempts (p = 0.0001) and poisonings from medicinal substances (p = 0.0001). Mental health diagnoses were significantly higher in every age category of military dependents. All-cause in-hospital mortality tended to be greater in military than in nonmilitary dependents (p = 0.052).


This study suggests that military dependents are a vulnerable population with special needs and provides clues to areas where injury prevention professionals might begin to address their needs.


Prognostic/epidemiologic study, level II.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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