A Baseline Historical Analysis of Neck and Back-Related Morbidity in the U.S. Army: Occupational Risks Potentially Related to Head-Supported Mass
ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA
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This study documents the morbidity of neck and back injuries among U.S. Army Soldiers, focusing on populations at greatest potential risk e.g.. pilots. parachutists. We hypothesize that individuals in occupations requiring the use of equipment that places a heavy load on the head will be at greater risk for acute and chronic neck and back injuries and musculoskeletal conditions. Analyses include calculation of frequencies and unadjusted rates of each health outcome hospitalization. accident report. disability, and outpatient visit. Standardized morbidity ratios, adjusted for age and presented in gender and rank-specific models. are used to compare risk among Soldiers in select Military Occupational Specialties. Separate models also compare risk among soldiers exposed to hazardous duty assignments such as parachuting and aviation. Results show that rates of head and neck injuries vary by occupation. receipt of hazardous duty pay, rank, and gender and by type of health outcome. These findings point to the need to monitor high-risk occupational specialties and to develop targeted interventions to reduce neck- and back-related morbidity. They also point to the need for more direct measurement of head-supported mass exposures and factors that may modify the association between risk exposures and injury or disability.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Weapons Effects (Biological)