Military deployment to the Gulf War as a risk factor for psychiatric illness among US troops

N Fiedler, Gozde Ozakinci, W Hallman, D Wartenberg, N Brewer, DH Barrett, HM Kipen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Several studies document an excess of psychiatric symptoms among veterans of the 1991 Gulf War. However, little is known about the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in those who were deployed to that conflict.

Aims To compare the 12- month prevalence and associated risk factors for DSM Axis I psychiatric diagnoses between random samples of Gulf War-deployed veterans and veterans of the same era not deployed to the Persian Gulf (era veterans).

Method Interview data from 967 Gulf War veterans and 784 era veterans were examined to determine current health status, medical conditions, symptoms and Axis I psychiatric disorders. Logistic regression models evaluated risk factors for psychiatric disorder.

Results Gulf War veterans had a significantly higher prevalence of psychiatric diagnoses, with twice the prevalence of anxiety disorders and depression. Lower rank, female gender and divorced or single marital status were significant independent predictors of psychiatric disorder.

Conclusions Deployment to the Gulf War is associated with a range of mental health outcomes more than 10 years after deployment.

Declaration of interest None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-459
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Volume188
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2006

Keywords

  • NATIONAL-COMORBIDITY-SURVEY
  • IV ALCOHOL-ABUSE
  • PERSIAN-GULF
  • UNITED-KINGDOM
  • HEALTH-STATUS
  • ILL HEALTH
  • VETERANS
  • SYMPTOMS
  • PREVALENCE
  • DEPENDENCE

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