Mental Health in Deployed and Nondeployed Veteran Men and Women in Comparison With Their Civilian Counterparts
Objective: We investigated the mental health of deployed and nondeployed veterans compared with civilians, exploring gender differences. Methods: We sampled 41,903 respondents from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey. Respondents self-reported how many of the previous 30 days mental health was not good; 14 days or more indicated adverse mental health. Results: Women exhibited greater prevalence of adverse mental health than men among civilians (odds ratio [OR] = 1.783 (1.653, 1.924), p < 0.001), deployed veterans [OR = 1.879 (1.019, 3.467), p = 0.043], and nondeployed veterans [OR = 2.621 (1.796, 3.825), p < 0.001]. Compared with civilian status, deployed status was associated with adverse mental health for men [OR = 1.361 (1.055, 1.755), p = 0.018] and possibly women [OR = 1.521 (0.930, 2.487), p = 0.095]. Compared with civilian status, nondeployed status was associated with adverse mental health for women [OR = 1.525 (1.152, 2.018), p = 0.003], but not for men [OR = 1.169 (0.943, 1.448), p = 0.155]. We controlled for age, general health, employment status, marital status, education, race/ethnicity, and state of residence. Conclusions: Adverse mental health affects male and female combat veterans, as well as women in noncombat military occupations.
School of Medicine
Occupational Medicine, Epidemiology and Prevention