Psychosocial Risk Factors for Upper Respiratory Infection: Demographic and Health History Predictors of URI (Upper Respiratory Illness) During Basic Training
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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Health history and demographic attributes have been suggested as predictors of susceptibility to upper respiratory infections in basic training. This study attempted to replicate evidence that being white, less educated, and having past history of frequent colds and cold sores were related to higher upper respiratory illness URI rates in basic training. Additional demographic and health history predictors were considered in an attempt to extend these initial findings. Four samples of Navy recruits completed demographic and health history questionnaires at the beginning of basic training and health symptom checklists measuring illness at approximately weekly intervals during basic training. Higher URI rates were associated with a history of severe colds, a history of respiratory and infectious diseases, and White Ethnicity. The strength of these associations appears to be influenced by general symptom reporting tendencies, but a history of severe colds is a useful predictor even controlling for this tendency, and ethnicity probably is of value given other evidence that Whites in the military generally are more likely than other ethnic groups to seek outpatient treatment for URI and to be hospitalized for URI.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Medicine and Medical Research