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Health Risk Factors Associated with Acute Respiratory Illness Among U.S. Army Recruits Attending Basic Combat Training

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Technical Report

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Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States

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Background Little is known regarding the role of smoking history and aerobic fitness inacute respiratory infection ARI risk in military trainees.Objective Determine smoking history and run group association with ARI during U.S.Army Basic Combat Training BCT.Methodology A de-identified dataset from a nested case-control study N2,284 wasanalyzed for potential risk factors of ARI from surveys administered to diagnosed casesand healthy bunkmate controls. Logistical regression analysis was used to calculate oddsratios and confidence intervals.Results The final multivariate logistic regression Total ARI model indicated smokingmore than one half packday among females OR1.46, 0.98-2.16 and males OR1.24,0.97-1.59 was associated with increased ARI. Also, associations tended to be largeramong less aerobically fit male and female trainees. Physical stress was also positivelyassociated with ARI while older age for both genders and body mass index for femaleswere protective. Conclusion Health promotion strategies to reduce ARI risk may include early smokingcessation and higher initial aerobic fitness prior to BCT among younger aged recruits.

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