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Prior health care utilization patterns and suicide among U.S. Army soldiers.

Authors
  • Bell, Nicole S
  • Harford, Thomas C
  • Amoroso, Paul J
  • Hollander, Ilyssa E
  • Kay, Ashley B
Type
Published Article
Journal
Suicide & life-threatening behavior
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2010
Volume
40
Issue
4
Pages
407–415
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1521/suli.2010.40.4.407
PMID: 20822367
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Suicides among U.S. Army soldiers are increasing and, in January 2009, outpaced deaths due to combat. For this study, 1,873 army suicides identified through death, inpatient, and emergency room records were matched with 5,619 controls. In multivariate models, older, male, White, single, and enlisted soldiers with a prior injury (OR = 2.04, 95% CI = 1.64-2.54), alcohol (OR = 3.41, 95% CI = 2.32-4.99), or mental health hospitalization (OR = 6.62, 95% CI = 4.77-9.20) were at increased risk for suicide. Risk was greatest immediately following diagnoses, but remained elevated even after 5 or more years of follow-up. Most injury hospitalizations were unintentional but, nonetheless, significantly associated with suicide. Interactions indicate soldiers with both mental health and injury history are particularly vulnerable.

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