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Am J Public Health. 2017 Feb;107(2):329-335. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2016.303574. Epub 2016 Dec 20.

Incidence of Mental Health Diagnoses in Veterans of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and New Dawn, 2001-2014.

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Christine M. Ramsey, Amy C. Justice, Hamada Hamid Altalib, Harini Bathulapalli, Matthew Burg, Suzanne Decker, Mary Driscoll, Joseph Goulet, Sally Haskell, Joseph Kulas, Karen H. Wang, Kristin Mattocks, and Cynthia Brandt are with VA Connecticut Health Care System, West Haven, CT, and Yale University Medical School, New Haven, CT. James Dziura is with Yale University Medical School.



To evaluate gender, age, and race/ethnicity as predictors of incident mental health diagnoses among Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and New Dawn veterans.


We used US Veterans Health Administration (VHA) electronic health records from 2001 to 2014 to examine incidence rates and sociodemographic risk factors for mental health diagnoses among 888‚ÄČ142 veterans.


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was the most frequently diagnosed mental health condition across gender and age groups. Incidence rates for all mental health diagnoses were highest at ages 18 to 29 years and declined thereafter, with the exceptions of major depressive disorder (MDD) in both genders, and PTSD among women. Risk of incident bipolar disorder and MDD diagnoses were greater among women; risk of incident schizophrenia, and alcohol- and drug-use disorders diagnoses were greater in men. Compared with Whites, risk incident PTSD, MDD, and alcohol-use disorder diagnoses were lower at ages 18 to 29 years and higher at ages 45 to 64 years for both Hispanics and African Americans.


Differentiating high-risk demographic and gender groups can lead to improved diagnosis and treatment of mental health diagnoses among veterans and other high-risk groups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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