Motor Vehicle Crashes among Recent United States Military Veterans: Comparison by Deployment Status
METHODS: The United States (US) Department of Veterans Affairs conducted a population-based survey of Veterans who deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq from 2001-2008 and a non-deployed comparison group. Respondents completed items about military service, war-related illnesses, risk behaviors, and health, including MVCs and their characteristics. We compared prevalence of MVCs and estimated associations between exposures of interest and MVC risk for deployed vs. non-deployed Veterans. Logistic regression was used to compute adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) while weighting to represent the population.
RESULTS: In total, 34% (20,563/60,000) of sampled Veterans participated. Over 39% endorsed having had a MVC in the US since 2001; 88% were involved as drivers and 8% were riding a motorcycle. MVC prevalence was similar for deployed (38%) and non-deployed (42%) Veterans, as were proportions riding motorcycles, speeding, or driving under the influence. Also comparable between groups, odds of MVC were associated with probable traumatic brain injury (aOR=1.4; CI=1.3-1.6), and self-reported diagnoses of posttraumatic stress disorder (aOR=1.2; CI=1.1-1.3), depression (aOR=1.3; CI=1.2-1.4), and migraines (aOR=1.2; CI=1.1-1.4).
CONCLUSIONS: MVCs are prevalent among all recent military Veterans. There was little difference in characteristics of, or risk factors for, MVCs by recent deployment status. Interventions targeting all recent Veterans with the identified mental and physical health problems may help decrease risk.
Public health or related research
Describe the risk of motor vehicle crash among recently discharged United States military Veterans. Compare frequencies and characteristics of motor vehicle crashes between deployed and non-deployed Veterans. Identify potential risk factors for motor vehicle crashes among deployed and non-deployed Veterans.
Keyword(s): Motor Vehicles, Veterans' Health
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am trained in public health and injury prevention with more than 10 years' experience conducting public health research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
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