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Mil Med. 2007 Jan;172(1):40-3.

Perceived stress, heart rate, and blood pressure among adolescents with family members deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA 30912, USA.


This study compared the impact of the 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom on heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) and self-reported stress levels among three groups of self-categorized adolescents: (1) military dependents with family members deployed; (2) military dependents with no family members deployed; (3) civilian dependents. At the onset and end of the "major hostilities" of Operation Iraqi Freedom, 121 adolescents (mean age = 15.8 +/- 1.1 years) completed questionnaires evaluating the psychological impact of the war and were evaluated for HR and BP. The military deployed dependents exhibited significantly higher HR than other groups at both evaluations (both p < 0.04). Ethnicity by group interactions indicated that European American-deployed dependents had higher stress scores at both time points (p < 0.02). Military dependent European Americans exhibited higher systolic BP compared to the other groups on the second evaluation (p < 0.03).

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