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August/September 2016 (vol. 13/2)
Soldiers’ suicide risk
US Army soldiers who have never been deployed have a higher risk of suicide attempts (SAs) than those previously or currently deployed, this retrospective cohort study found. It was based on 163,178 enlisted soldiers on active duty between 2004 and 2009; 9,650 of whom had attempted suicide. Never-deployed soldiers had the highest rate of SAs, at 569 per 100,000 person-years, followed by previously and currently deployed soldiers (304 and 157 SAs per 100,000 person-years, respectively). SA risk was higher among female than male soldiers across all deployment groups (currently deployed OR = 3.4, CI 3.0–4.0; previously deployed OR = 1.5, CI 1.4–1.7; never deployed OR = 2.4, CI 2.3–2.6). A diagnosis of depression in the previous month gave the highest risks of SA (currently deployed OR = 14.1, CI 10.4–19.1; previously deployed OR = 10.6, CI 9.3–12.0; never deployed OR = 10.2, CI 9.3–11.2). Post-traumatic stress disorder was also a significant predictor of SA. The results will help inform suicide-prevention strategies.
Occupational Health at Work August/September 2016 (vol. 13/2) pp40