Diabetes in Combat: Effect of Military Deployment on Diabetes Mellitus in Air Force Personnel
SAN ANTONIO MILITARY MEDICAL CENTER FORT SAM HOUSTON TX FORT SAM HOUSTON
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The United States Air Force USAF restricts military personnel with Diabetes Mellitus DM from participating in military deployments due to the uncertainty of healthcare availability in an austere environment. For military providers, assessing a members candidacy for deployment has been challenging as no data has been published describing the effect of a deployment on glycemic control among military personnel with DM. We conducted a retrospective analysis on 366 USAF personnel with DM examining response in hemoglobin A1C A1C and body mass index BMI after a deployment of at least 90 days. Each subject s A1C and BMI were obtained before deployment and within 6 months of repatriation. For the entire population, there was no statistically significant difference in the mean A1C before and after deployment 6.5 vs. 6.7 respectively, P0.17. Likewise, subgroup analyses of gender, rank, and age showed no significant difference in A1C before and after deployment. ln subjects taking oral DM medications only or no medications, which represent the ideal regimen in deployment due to cold storage limitations, there was no significant difference in A1C before and after deployment n335, 6.4 vs. 6.6 respectively, P0.09. However, members requiring insulin appeared to have worsened glycemic control before and after deployment A1C 7.8 vs. 8.4, respectively, although the census in this category n25 was insufficient to accurately calculate statistical significance. Mean BMI for the overall population declined significantly after deployment 28.4kgm2 vs. 27.8kgm2,P0.01. A1C appears to remain relatively stable before and after a deployment among AF personnel with DM. However, those requiring insulin demonstrated a concerning pattern of A1C increase. Further studies are needed to determine specific factors in military deployment that affect glycemic control.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Military Forces and Organizations