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J Psychosom Res. 2017 Oct;101:110-113. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2017.08.011. Epub 2017 Aug 12.

Gender differences in mental and physical health conditions in U.S. veterans: Results from the National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, RI, USA. Electronic address: hannah_ziobrowski@brown.edu.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA; United States Department of Veterans Affairs New England Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, West Haven, CT, USA.
4
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA; United States Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Clinical Neurosciences Division, West Haven, CT, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To characterize gender differences in the prevalence of mental and physical health conditions and evaluate the moderating effect of assaultive trauma on risk for these conditions in a nationally representative sample of male and female U.S. veterans.

METHODS:

Cross-sectional data were analyzed from 3157 U.S. veterans from the National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study. Multivariable logistic regression analyses assessed gender differences in health outcomes and evaluated physical and sexual trauma as possible moderators of these outcomes.

RESULTS:

Compared to male veterans, female veterans had higher prevalence estimates of lifetime posttraumatic stress (OR=3.33) and lifetime and current major depressive (ORs=2.10 and 2.76, respectively) disorders, and lifetime histories of arthritis, migraine headaches, and osteoporosis (ORs ranging 2.14-9.74), but lower prevalence estimates of lifetime nicotine dependence (OR=0.46), lifetime and current alcohol use (ORs=0.19 and 0.36, respectively) and lifetime drug use (OR=0.39) disorders, and lifetime histories of diabetes, heart attack, and high blood pressure (ORs ranging 0.05-0.49). The elevation in risk associated with physical and sexual assault was greater for males than females for numerous health conditions (but greater for females for posttraumatic stress disorder).

CONCLUSIONS:

Results provide a comprehensive assessment and characterization of gender differences in mental and physical health conditions and risk conferred by assaultive trauma for certain conditions in U.S. veterans.

KEYWORDS:

Gender differences; Mental health; Physical health; Trauma; Veterans; Women

PMID:
28867415
PMCID:
PMC5595666
[Available on 2018-10-01]
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpsychores.2017.08.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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