Medical Surveillance Monthly Report (MSMR). Volume 7, Number 6, July 2001
ARMED FORCES HEALTH SURVEILLANCE CENTER SILVER SPRING MD
Pagination or Media Count:
In 1999, women accounted for 14.6 of the total active duty Armed Forces table 1. This proportion is likely to increase into the foreseeable future. Women have a disproportionately high number of hospitalizations and ambulatory visits. For example, almost 40 of hospitalizations of service members in 1999 were among women nearly two-thirds of these hospitalizations were directly related to pregnancies, deliveries, or postpartum complications table 1. A majority of women in the military are of childbearing age, and many elect to become pregnant while on active duty. Frequently, pregnant service members continue their assigned military duties throughout their prenatal, delivery, and postnatal recovery periods. While the uncomplicated pregnant state is a healthy and normal condition for young women, in the military, as in other occupational settings, pregnancy may be inappropriately equated with increased susceptibility to illness, injury, or disability andor an inability to completely and reliably fulfill job requirements. This perception may be heightened in the military since pregnant women are not deployable and are exempt from certain training and duty demands. It is not clear, however, that women who are pregnant and have babies while on active duty have higher non-pregnancy related illness or injury rates than do their counterparts. The purpose of this analysis is to compare the nature and magnitude of morbidity affecting pregnant and non-pregnant women of the US Armed Forces that is not directly pregnancy-related.
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