Online Program

Asthma and mental health among veterans: Implications for integrated care policies

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.

Monideepa Becerra, DrPH, MPH, CHES, Health Science and Human Ecology, California State University, San Bernardino, San Bernardino, CA
Benjamin Joseph Becerra, DrPH, MBA, MPH, MS, School of Allied Health Professions, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Objective: The literature highlights the association between asthma and mental health, though such an assessment among veterans is limited. This study aimed to evaluate the association between asthma and mental health among veteran males.

Methods: Secondary analysis of a population-based survey was conducted. Both survey-weighted univariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses were utilized. A total of 9,993 veteran males, representing a population estimate of 4,035,828 were included in the study.

Results: Nearly 6% of veteran males reported current asthma. In addition, approximately 3% and 5% reported past month and year psychological distress. Veterans with asthma were more likely to report distress in the past year (OR = 2.7, 95% CI: 1.5,4.9) and past month (OR = 3.1, 95% CI: 1.8,5.3) as compared to those without asthma.  Other factors significantly associated with distress in past year and month included having a high school degree or less, living below 200% federal poverty level, poor health status, not being currently employed, and not being married.

Conclusion: Results highlight the need for integrated care policies among the veteran population and thus making mental health assessment and treatment a critical part of primary care.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the prevalence of psychological distress among veteran males. Explain the current asthma prevalence among veteran males. Identify the association between asthma and mental health among veteran males. Assess the need for integrated care for veteran males.

Keyword(s): Veterans' Health, Asthma

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a health disparities researcher with significant experience in addressing chronic disease risk factors among vulnerable populations. I have served as the principal investigator on several projects addressing the burden of asthma, mental health, and behavioral risk factors, in addition to providing serving as research mentor for national mentorship programs. My research expertise include: big data and social media analysis, asthma risk factors and comorbidity, and disaggregated data evaluation to highlight at-risk populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.