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Am J Public Health. 2010 Jan;100(1):90-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.155432.

A prospective study of depression following combat deployment in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Author information

1
US Air Force Research Laboratory, 711th HPW/RHPA, Building 824 Room 206, 2800 Q St, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433-7947, USA. timothy.wells@wpafb.af.mil

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We investigated relations between deployment and new-onset depression among US service members recently deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

METHODS:

We included 40 219 Millennium Cohort Study participants who completed baseline and follow-up questionnaires and met inclusion criteria. Participants were identified with depression if they met the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders Patient Health Questionnaire criteria for depression at follow-up, but not at baseline.

RESULTS:

Deployed men and women with combat exposures had the highest onset of depression, followed by those not deployed and those deployed without combat exposures. Combat-deployed men and women were at increased risk for new-onset depression compared with nondeployed men and women (men: adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=1.32; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.13, 1.54; women: AOR=2.13; 95% CI=1.70, 2.65). Conversely, deployment without combat exposures led to decreased risk for new-onset depression compared with those who did not deploy (men: AOR=0.66; 95% CI=0.53, 0.83; women: AOR=0.65; 95% CI=0.47, 0.89).

CONCLUSIONS:

Deployment with combat exposures is a risk factor for new-onset depression among US service members. Post-deployment screening may be beneficial for US service members exposed to combat.

PMID:
19910353
PMCID:
PMC2791239
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2008.155432
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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