A Longitudinal Study of Disease Incidence among Antarctic Winter-Over Personnel.
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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A longitudinal perspective was employed to test the hypothesis that there is an increased risk of hospitalization among personnel who winter-over in Antarctica during the first year subsequent to the winter-over duty. Subjects were 327 enlisted Navy men who wintered over between 1963 and 1974 and a control group of 2,396 enlisted men who volunteered and were accepted for winter-over duty but who did not winter-over. A fifteen year period from 1965 to 1979 was established for follow-up. Follow-up of subjects subsequent to screening for Operation Deep Freeze was conducted in six month intervals for the first four years. Results indicated that the total rate of first hospitalization during the six months prior to Antarctic duty and the first six months in Antarctica was significantly lower than the rate for the control group. The rate for the winter-over group displayed a steady increase, peaking at nine months subsequent to returning from Antarctic duty. This peak rate was not significantly different from the rate of control group, however. These results lend further support to the hypothesis that the winter-over experience is not associated with any long-term risk of disease incidence.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Stress Physiology