A Prospective Study of Depression Following Combat Deployment in Support of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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Background Previous studies have reported an association between deployment and depression however, these studies have been limited by small sample size or lack of longitudinal design. Results Deployed men and women with combat exposures had the highest onset of depression at follow-up 5.6 and 15.7, respectively, followed by those not deployed 3.9 and 7.7, respectively, and those deployed without combat exposures 2.3 and 5.1, respectively. After adjusting for demographic, behavioral, and military characteristics, combat-deployed men and women were at increased odds for new-onset depression compared with nondeployed men and women. Conversely, deployed men and women without combat exposures were at decreased odds for new-onset depression compared with nondeployed men and women. Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first large, longitudinal study to examine the relationship between deployment and depression. Deployment with combat exposures is a significant risk factor for new-onset depression among US service members.
- Military Forces and Organizations