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Mil Med. 2004 Nov;169(11):896-902.

Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of psychiatric disorders in 8,169 male Vietnam War era veterans.

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  • 1Research and Medical Service, Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center, St. Louis, MO 63106, USA.



This study reports the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among a nationally distributed sample of Vietnam Era veterans assessed using standardized psychiatric interviewing methods.


In 1992, the National Institute of Mental Health Diagnostic Interview Schedule was administered by telephone to 8,169 middle-aged males who served in the military during the Vietnam era (1965-1975).


Approximately 72% of respondents reported a lifetime history and 36% reported a 12-month history of at least one psychiatric disorder. The most prevalent psychiatric disorders included alcohol abuse and/or dependence (54% lifetime, 17% 12 month), nicotine dependence (48% lifetime, 22% 12 month), and posttraumatic stress disorder (10% lifetime, 4.5% 12 month).


Because of possible participation bias, these results likely represent conservative estimates of psychiatric disorder prevalences among the more than eight million Vietnam Era veterans and reinforces the major public health challenge of preventing, identifying, and treating psychiatric illness in American veterans.

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