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J Clin Epidemiol. 1999 Dec;52(12):1267-78.

Risk factors for mental disorder hospitalization after the Persian Gulf War: U.S. Armed Forces, June 1, 1991-September 30, 1993.

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  • 1Department of Health Sciences and Epidemiology, Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, California 92186-5122, USA.


Effects of Persian Gulf War (August 2, 1990-July 31, 1991) and Gulf War occupation on post-War hospitalization risk were evaluated through Cox proportional hazards modeling. Active-duty men (n = 1,775,236) and women (n = 209,760) in the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps had 30,539 initial postwar hospitalizations for mental disorders between June 1, 1991 and September 30, 1993. Principal diagnoses in the Defense Manpower Data Center hospitalization database were grouped into 10 categories of ICD-9-CM codes. Gulf War service was associated with significantly greater risk for acute reactions to stress and lower risk for personality disorders and adjustment reactions among men. Personnel who served in ground war support occupations (men and women) were at greater risk for postwar drug-related disorders. Men who served in ground war combat occupations were at higher risk for alcohol-related disorders. Longitudinal studies of health, hospitalization, and exposure beginning at recruitment, are needed to better understand how exposure to combat affects the mental health of military personnel.

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