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Am J Public Health. 1996 May;86(5):662-7.

The risk of suicide among wounded Vietnam veterans.

Author information

  • 1Environmental Epidemiology Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC 20036-3406, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study was undertaken to determine whether an association exists between combat trauma and risk of postservice suicide among Vietnam veterans.

METHODS:

Risk of suicide for 34,534 veterans who were wounded in Vietnam was evaluated for severity of wound and number of times wounded.

RESULTS:

There was a trend of increasing risk of suicide with increased occurrence of combat trauma, the highest relative risk (1.82, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.12, 2.96) being observed for those veterans who were wounded more than once and hospitalized for a wound. In comparison with the US male general population, veterans hospitalized because of a combat wound or wounded more than once had a significantly increased risk of suicide (standardized mortality ratios [SMRs] of 1.22 [95% CI = 1.00, 1.46] and 1.58 [95% CI = 1.06, 2.26], respectively). Those wounded more than once and hospitalized had the highest increased risk of suicide (SMR = 1.73, 95% CI = 1.10, 2.60).

CONCLUSIONS:

This study suggests that, among wounded Vietnam veterans, there is an increased risk for suicide associated with increased occurrence of combat trauma.

PMID:
8629716
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1380473
Free PMC Article
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