The reliability and validity of self-reported drinking behaviors from the Army Health Risk Appraisal (HRA) survey are unknown.
We compared demographics and health experiences of those who completed the HRA with those who did not (1991–1998). We also evaluated the reliability and validity of eight HRA alcohol-related items, including the CAGE, weekly drinking quantity, and drinking and driving measures. We used Cohen’s κ and Pearson’s r to assess reliability and convergent validity. To assess criterion (predictive) validity, we used proportional hazards and logistical regression models predicting alcohol-related hospitalizations and alcohol-related separations from the Army, respectively.
A total of 404,966 soldiers completed an HRA. No particular demographic group seems to be over- or underrepresented. Although few respondents skipped alcohol items, those who did tended to be older and of minority race. The alcohol items demonstrate a reasonable degree of reliability, with Cronbach’s α = 0.69 and test-retest reliability associations in the 0.75–0.80 range for most items over 2- to 30-day interims between surveys. The alcohol measures showed good criterion-related validity: those consuming more than 21 drinks per week were at 6 times the risk for subsequent alcohol-related hospitalization versus those who abstained from drinking (hazard ratio, 6.36; 95% confidence interval=5.79, 6.99). Those who said their friends worried about their drinking were almost 5 times more likely to be discharged due to alcoholism (risk ratio, 4.9; 95% confidence interval=4.00, 6.04) and 6 times more likely to experience an alcohol-related hospitalization (hazard ratio, 6.24; 95% confidence interval=5.74, 6.77).
The Army’s HRA alcohol items seem to elicit reliable and valid responses. Because HRAs contain identifiers, alcohol use can be linked with subsequent health and occupational outcomes, making the HRA a useful epidemiological research tool. Associations between perceived peer opinions of drinking and subsequent problems deserve further exploration.
Alcohol; Military; Reliability; Validity; Survey
A total of 675,626 active duty Army soldiers who were known to be at risk for deployment to the Persian Gulf were followed from 1980 through the Persian Gulf War. Hospitalization histories for the entire cohort and Health Risk Appraisal surveys for a subset of 374 soldiers were used to evaluate prewar distress, health, and behaviors. Deployers were less likely to have had any prewar hospitalizations or hospitalization for a condition commonly reported among Gulf War veterans or to report experiences of depression/suicidal ideation. Deployers reported greater satisfaction with life and relationships but displayed greater tendencies toward risk-taking, such as drunk driving, speeding, and failure to wear safety belts. Deployed veterans were more likely to receive hazardous duty pay and to be hospitalized for an injury than nondeployed Gulf War-era veterans. If distress is a predictor of postwar morbidity, it is likely attributable to experiences occurring during or after the war and not related to prewar exposures or health status. Postwar excess injury risk may be explained in part by a propensity for greater risk-taking, which was evident before and persisted throughout the war.
Prior studies suggest racial/ethnic differences in the associations between alcohol misuse and spouse abuse. Some studies indicate that drinking patterns are a stronger predictor of spouse abuse for African Americans but not whites or Hispanics, while others report that drinking patterns are a stronger predictor for whites than African Americans or Hispanics. This study extends prior work by exploring associations between heavy drinking, alcohol-related problems, and risk for spouse abuse within racial/ethnic groups as well as variations associated with whether the perpetrator is drinking during the spouse abuse incident.
Cases (N = 7,996) were all active-duty male, enlisted Army spouse abusers identified in the Army’s Central Registry (ACR) who had also completed an Army Health Risk Appraisal (HRA) Survey between 1991 and 1998. Controls (N = 17,821) were matched on gender, rank, and marital and HRA status.
We found 3 different patterns of association between alcohol use and domestic violence depending upon both the race/ethnicity of the perpetrator and whether or not alcohol was involved in the spouse abuse event. First, after adjusting for demographic and psychosocial factors, weekly heavy drinking (>14 drinks per week) and alcohol-related problems (yes to 2 or more of 6 alcohol-related problem questions, including the CAGE) were significant predictors of domestic violence among whites and Hispanics only. Also for the white soldiers, the presence of family problems mediated the effect of alcohol-related problems on spouse abuse. Second, alcohol-related problems predicted drinking during a spouse abuse incident for all 3 race groups, but this relation was moderated by typical alcohol consumption patterns in Hispanics and whites only. Finally, alcohol-related problems predicted drinking during a spouse abuse incident, but this was a complex association moderated by different psychosocial or behavioral variables within each race/ethnic group.
These findings suggest important cultural/social influences that interact with drinking patterns.
Alcohol; Violence; Intimate Partner Violence; Ethnicity; Race; Army
Occupational health nursing has become an increasingly important specialty in the field of nursing during this century. In the broadest concept, occupational health is concerned with all factors which influence the health of people at work. Nurses, as well as other health care professionals, are attempting to apply the evolving technology of the computer to direct client care applications in the workplace. One such relevant use of the computer has been that of targeted disease surveillance in an occupational health setting. This paper will address the process utilized by community health nurses to assess, plan, implement and evaluate a computerized disease surveillance program in an occupational health setting. The program was a joint effort between the United States Army Medical Department Activity, Fort Irwin, California and the Epidemiology Consultant Service of the Division of Preventive Medicine, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, DC. (WRAIR).
The health status of the American slave in the 19th century remains unclear despite extensive historical research. Better knowledge of slave health would provide a clearer picture of the life of the slave, a better understanding of the 19th-century medicine, and possibly even clues to the health problems of modern blacks. This article hopes to contribute to the literature by examining another source of data. Slaves entering the Union Army joined an organization with standardized medical care that generated extensive statistical information. Review of these statistics answers questions about the health of young male blacks at the time American slavery ended.
How did the wartime health of Union Army recruits affect their wealth accumulation through 1870? Wounds and exposure to combat had strong negative effects on subsequent savings, as did illnesses while in the service. The impact of poor health was particularly strong for unskilled workers. Health was a powerful determinant of nineteenth-century economic mobility. Infectious diseases’ influences on wealth accumulation suggest that the economic gains from the improvement of the disease environment should be enormous. The direct economic costs of the Civil War were probably much greater than previously thought, given the persistent adverse health effects of wartime experiences.
The primary aims of this article are to describe the utilization of an Internet-based weight management Web site [Healthy Eating, Activity, and Lifestyle Training Headquarters (H.E.A.L.T.H.)] over a 12–27 month period and to describe concurrent weight and fitness changes in Army Reserve soldiers.
The H.E.A.L.T.H. Web site was marketed to Army Reserve soldiers via a Web site promotion program for 27 months (phase I) and its continued usage was observed over a subsequent 12-month period (phase II). Web site usage was obtained from the H.E.A.L.T.H. Web site. Weight and fitness data were extracted from the Regional Level Application Software (RLAS).
A total of 1499 Army Reserve soldiers registered on the H.E.A.L.T.H. Web site. There were 118 soldiers who returned to the H.E.A.L.T.H. Web site more than once. Registration rate reduced significantly following the removal of the Web site promotion program. During phase I, 778 Army Reserve soldiers had longitudinal weight and fitness data in RLAS. Men exceeding the screening table weight gained less weight compared with men below it (p < .007). Percentage change in body weight was inversely associated with change in fitness scores.
The Web site promotion program resulted in 52% of available Army Reserve soldiers registering onto the H.E.A.L.T.H. Web site, and 7.9% used the Web site more than once. The H.E.A.L.T.H. Web site may be a viable population-based weight and fitness management tool for soldier use.
Army Reserve; Internet; military; obesity prevention; weight management
The negative impact of sustaining an injury on a military deployment on subsequent mental health is well-documented, however, the relationship between having an illness on a military operation and subsequent mental health is unknown.
Population based study, linking routinely collected data of attendances at emergency departments in military hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan [Operational Emergency Department Attendance Register (OpEDAR)], with data on 3896 UK Army personnel who participated in a military health study between 2007 and 2009 and deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan between 2003 to 2009.
In total, 13.8% (531/3896) of participants had an event recorded on OpEDAR during deployment; 2.3% (89/3884) were medically evacuated. As expected, those medically evacuated for an injury were at increased risk of post deployment probable PTSD (odds ratio 4.27, 95% confidence interval 1.80-10.12). Less expected was that being medically evacuated for an illness was also associated with a similarly increased risk of probable PTSD (4.39, 1.60-12.07) and common mental disorders (2.79, 1.41-5.51). There was no association between having an OpEDAR event and alcohol misuse. Having an injury caused by hostile action was associated with increased risk of probable PTSD compared to those with a non-hostile injury (3.88, 1.15 to 13.06).
Personnel sustaining illnesses on deployment are just as, if not more, at risk of having subsequent mental health problems as personnel who have sustained an injury. Monitoring of mental health problems should consider those with illnesses as well as physical injuries.
Mental Health; Military; PTSD; Alcohol use; Depression; Deployment
A significant number of Army soldiers are sufficiently overweight to exceed the maximum weight allowances defined by the Army weight control program (AR600-9). Also, the body weights of a substantial number of soldiers approach the maximum weight allowances. These soldiers should not gain additional weight if they are to meet Army weight allowances. The conventional approach to this overweight problem is assigning soldiers to remedial physical training and mandatory referral for nutrition counseling by a health care provider. An alternative to this conventional approach is to target the entire population of soldiers (population-based intervention) to promote weight loss in overweight soldiers and weight gain prevention in soldiers who are approaching overweight status. To accomplish this objective, the Healthy Eating, Activity, and Lifestyle Training Headquarters (H.E.A.L.T.H.) program was developed. This article describes the rationale for developing the program, the components of the program, and the utilization promotion strategies of the program. The H.E.A.L.T.H. program includes two primary components: (1) a Web site tailored to the standards established in Field Manual 21-20, Physical Fitness Training, Army physical fitness test, and AR600-9, the army weight control program, and (2) a health promotion program designed to promote awareness of the H.E.A.L.T.H. Web site and to facilitate use of the Web site by soldiers and their family members. The Web site is equipped with personalized planning tools and progress tracking over time related to fitness, caloric intake, and lifestyle behavior change goals. The health promotion program includes media advertisements and “ground roots” efforts to facilitate use by soldiers.
AR600-9; Army; Army weight control program; Department of Defense; Internet intervention; obesity prevention; population-based approach; soldiers; weight management
There is some evidence that rates of out of hours calls in army general practices are higher than the average for the NHS. In an attempt to reduce out of hours demand a programme of preventive and educational initiatives for patients was introduced at an army practice in Hohne, West Germany early in 1985. This included regular child development clinics, well woman clinics, a practice booklet and leaflets about the management of simple illnesses, a library of books and videos for patients and health education videos in the waiting room. The project was complemented by an audit of doctors' prescribing habits followed by drawing up agreed protocols for the treatment of common disorders such as sore throat. Annual attendance rates per registered patient were recorded for 1984-86 to compare use of out of hours services by patients before and after the introduction of the project. Out of hours attendance rates fell by 35% (from 0.17 per annum to 0.11 per annum) overall and by 61% in young children. The total annual attendance rate dropped by 14% (from 5.13 to 4.43) during the same period, but fell by only 1% over the same period at a similar practice in Osnabruck. The decrease was particularly marked for out of hours attendances which the doctor classified as lower urgency: attendances classed as very low urgency decreased by 78% between 1984 and 1986 but those classed as medium urgency decreased by only 2%.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Data from the Total Army Injury and Health Outcomes Database (TAIHOD) were used to describe 28,352 fall-related hospitalizations among active-duty Army soldiers between 1980 and 1998. Soldiers who were younger than age 26, single, and had a high school education or less were at greatest risk. Falls from a height were more likely to be fatal than other types of falls, accounting for 88% of all fatalities. In cases where duty status was known, 64% of the falls took place while the soldier was on duty and half of these occurred during training. The most common type of fall during training was fall from a height (37%). Falls on stairs and ladders accounted for 49% of all off-duty falls. Future research should include identification of specific behavioral and occupational risk factors for falls, particularly those occurring during training activities, and falls occurring off duty.
Accidental falls; Army; injuries and wounds; hospitalizations; database; military; free text
To examine the relationship between alcohol use and the cause, type and severity of hospitalized injuries.
We used the Total Army Injury and Health Outcomes Database (TAIHOD) to conduct cross-sectional analyses of the association between alcohol comorbidity and the cause, type and severity of soldiers’ non-combat injuries requiring hospitalization.
Subjects were active-duty US army soldiers (n = 211 790) hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of injury between 1980 and 2002.
Alcohol comorbidity was positively associated with hospitalized injuries resulting from fights and falls and negatively associated with sports injuries; positively associated with hospitalized cases of head injury, open wounds and poisonings and negatively associated with musculoskeletal injury; and, overall, associated with shorter length of stay. Controlling for demographic factors did not moderate the association between alcohol and cause, type or severity of injury.
Alcohol comorbidity is specifically associated with injuries related to impairment and antisocial behavior.
Alcohol; head injuries; injury cause; injury severity; injury type; military; soldiers; sports injuries
High-risk drinking is among the top three prevention priorities of the Department of Defense. Research suggests that enlisted male soldiers are particularly at risk for unhealthy drinking behaviors. 292,023 enlisted male soldiers who responded to a Health Risk Appraisal (HRA) survey between 1990 and 1998 were dichotomized into high and low-risk drinking groups. Logistic regression analysis showed that high-risk drinkers wore seatbelts less frequently, were more likely to drive > 15 mph over the speed limit, and to smoke more than 20 cigarettes/day. This high-risk group was predominately young (< 25), Caucasian, high school educated or less, and most likely employed as infantrymen or craftsworkers. The two highest risk occupational groups (infantrymen and craftsworkers) differ from each other, and from other Army occupations. Intervention programs should include safe driving habits and smoking cessation, as well as high-risk drinking, and should be tailored to the specific needs of the group at highest risk.
This study examines the relationship between typical weekly drinking and perpetration of spouse abuse as well as the relationship between the perpetrator’s typical weekly drinking and alcohol use during the abuse event among U.S. Army male soldiers.
Cases include all active duty, male, enlisted Army spouse abusers identified in the Army’s Central Registry who had also completed an Army Health Risk Appraisal Survey (HRA) between 1991 and 1998 (N = 9534). Cases were matched on sex, rank, and marital status with 21,786 control subjects who had also completed an HRA.
In multivariate logistic regression models, heavy drinkers (22 or more drinks per week) were 66% more likely to be spouse abusers than were abstainers (odds ratio 1.66; 95% confidence interval 1.40–1.96). In addition, self-reported moderate and heavy drinkers were three times as likely and light drinkers (1–7 drinks per week) were twice as likely as nondrinkers to be drinking during the time of the abuse event.
Self-reported heavy drinking is an independent risk factor for perpetration of spouse abuse among male, enlisted Army soldiers. Even 5 years or more after ascertainment of typical drinking habits, there is a significant association between self-reported heavy drinking and alcohol involvement at the time of the spouse abuse event. Personnel who work with perpetrators and victims of spouse abuse should be trained carefully to query about current and typical drinking patterns.
Spouse Abuse; Violence; Alcohol; Injury; Military
Previous studies have extended the traditional framework on occupational disparities in health by examining mortality differentials from a career perspective. Few studies, however, have examined the relation between career and mortality in a historical U.S. population. This study explores the relation between occupational career and risk of mortality in old age among 7,096 Union Army veterans who fought the American Civil War in the 1860s. Occupational mobility was commonplace among the veterans in the postbellum period, with 54 percent of them changing occupations from the time of enlistment to 1900. Among veterans who were farmers at enlistment, 46 percent of them changed to a non-farming occupation by the time of 1900. Results from the Cox Proportional Hazard analysis suggest that relative to the average mortality risk of the sample, being a farmer at enlistment or circa 1900 are both associated with a lower risk of mortality in old age, although the effect is more salient for veterans who were farmers at enlistment. Occupational immobility for manual labors poses a serious threat to chance of survival in old age. These findings still hold after adjusting for the effects of selected variables characterizing risk exposures during early life, wartime, and old age. The robustness of the survival advantage associated with being a farmer at enlistment highlights the importance of socioeconomic conditions early in life in chance of survival at older ages.
Career; Occupational Mobility; Mortality; Union Army Veterans; USA
We find that Union Army veterans of the American Civil War who faced greater wartime stress (as measured by higher battlefield mortality rates) experienced higher mortality rates at older ages, but that men who were from more cohesive companies were statistically significantly less likely to be affected by wartime stress. Our results hold for overall mortality, mortality from ischemic heart disease and stroke, and new diagnoses of arteriosclerosis. Our findings represent one of the first long-run health follow-ups of the interaction between stress and social networks in a human population in which both stress and social networks are arguably exogenous.
This paper investigates patterns of socioeconomic difference in the wartime morbidity and mortality of black Union Army soldiers. Among the factors that contributed to a lower probability of contracting and dying from diseases were (1) lighter skin color, (2) a non-field occupation, (3) residence on a large plantation, and (4) residence in a rural area prior to enlistment. Patterns of disease-specific mortality and timing of death suggest that the differences in the development of immunity against diseases and in nutritional status prior to enlistment were responsible for the observed socioeconomic differences in wartime health. For example, the advantages of light-skinned soldiers over dark-skinned and of enlisted men formerly engaged in non-field occupations over field hands resulted from differences in nutritional status. The lower wartime mortality of ex-slaves from large plantations can be explained by their better-developed immunity as well as superior nutritional status. The results of this paper suggest that there were substantial disparities in the health of the slave population on the eve of the Civil War.
The U.S. Army initiated an investigation in response to observations of a possible increase in HIV incidence among soldiers deployed to combat. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected U.S. Army soldiers are not eligible to deploy. Combat presents a health hazard to HIV-infected soldiers and they pose a threat to the safety of the battlefield blood supply and their contacts. All soldiers are routinely screened for HIV every 2 years and those who deploy are also screened both prior to and after deployment. Seroconversion rates were estimated for all soldiers who deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq in the period 2001–2007 and all active duty soldiers who did not. Seroconverters with an estimated date of infection, based on calculation of the midpoint between the last seronegative and first seropositive test date, that was either before or during deployment were eligible for inclusion. Confidential interviews and medical record reviews were conducted to determine the most likely time, geographic location, and mode of infection. Reposed predeployment samples were tested for HIV ribonucleic acid. The HIV seroconversion rate among all soldiers who deployed was less than the rate among those who did not deploy: 1.04 and 1.42 per 10,000 person-years, respectively. Among 48 cases, most were determined to have been infected in the United States or Germany and prior to deployment (n=20, 42%) or during rest and relaxation leave (n=13, 27%). Seven seronegative acute infections were identified in the predeployment period. Subtype was determined for 40 individuals; all were subtype B infections. All were acquired through sexual contact. These findings can inform development of preventive interventions and refinement of existing screening policy to further reduce HIV-infected deployed soldier person time.
Few data are available in Afghanistan to shape national military force health practices, particularly with regard to sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). We measured prevalence and correlates of HIV, syphilis, herpes simplex 2 virus (HSV-2), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) among Afghan National Army (ANA) recruits.
A cross-sectional sample of male ANA recruits aged 18–35 years were randomly selected at the Kabul Military Training Center between February 2010 and January 2011. Participants completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire and serum-based rapid testing for syphilis and hepatitis C virus antibody on-site; HIV and HSV-2 screening, and confirmatory testing were performed off-site. Prevalence of each infection was calculated and logistic regression analysis performed to identify correlates.
Of 5313 recruits approached, 4750 consented to participation. Participants had a mean age of 21.8 years (SD±3.8), 65.5% had lived outside Afghanistan, and 44.3% had no formal education. Few reported prior marijuana (16.3%), alcohol (5.3%), or opiate (3.4%) use. Of sexually active recruits (58.7%, N = 2786), 21.3% reported paying women for sex and 21.3% reported sex with males. Prevalence of HIV (0.063%, 95% CI: 0.013- 0.19), syphilis (0.65%, 95% CI: 0.44 – 0.93), and HCV (0.82%, 95% CI: 0.58 – 1.12) were quite low. Prevalence of HSV-2 was 3.03% (95% CI: 2.56 - 3.57), which was independently associated with age (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) = 1.04, 95% CI: 1.00 - 1.09) and having a television (socioeconomic marker) (AOR = 1.46, 95% CI: 1.03 – 2.05).
Though prevalence of HIV, HCV, syphilis, and HSV-2 was low, sexual risk behaviors and intoxicant use were present among a substantial minority, indicating need for prevention programming. Formative work is needed to determine a culturally appropriate approach for prevention programming to reduce STI risk among Afghan National Army troops.
Afghanistan; Military populations; HIV; Sexual risk behavior; Drug use
Suicide in the US Army is a high-profile public health problem that is complex and poorly understood. Adding to the confusion surrounding Army suicide is the challenge of defining and understanding individuals/populations dying by suicide. Data from recent studies have led to a better understanding of risk factors for suicide that may be specifically associated with military service, including the impact of combat and deployment on increased rates of psychiatric illness in military personnel. The next steps involve applying these results to the development of empirically supported suicide prevention approaches specific to the military population. This special article provides an overview of suicide in the Army by synthesizing new information and providing clinical pearls based on research evidence.
PTSD, posttraumatic stress disorder; VHA, Veterans Health Administration
United States Army Soldiers regularly use dietary supplements (DS) to promote general health, enhance muscle strength, and increase energy, but limited scientific evidence supports the use of many DS for these benefits. This study investigated factors associated with Soldiers’ confidence in the efficacy and safety of DS, and assessed Soldiers’ knowledge of federal DS regulatory requirements.
Between 2006 and 2007, 990 Soldiers were surveyed at 11 Army bases world-wide to assess their confidence in the effectiveness and safety of DS, knowledge of federal DS regulations, demographic characteristics, lifestyle-behaviors and DS use.
A majority of Soldiers were at least somewhat confident that DS work as advertised (67%) and thought they are safe to consume (71%). Confidence in both attributes was higher among regular DS users than non-users. Among users, confidence in both attributes was positively associated with rank, self-rated diet quality and fitness level, education, and having never experienced an apparent DS-related adverse event. Fewer than half of Soldiers knew the government does not require manufacturers to demonstrate efficacy, and almost a third incorrectly believed there are effective pre-market federal safety requirements for DS.
Despite limited scientific evidence supporting the purported benefits and safety of many popular DS, most Soldiers were confident that DS are effective and safe. The positive associations between confidence and DS use should be considered when developing DS-related interventions or policies. Additionally, education to clarify Soldiers’ misperceptions about federal DS safety and efficacy regulations is warranted.
Consumer beliefs; Military; Government regulation; Dietary supplement health and education act (DSHEA)
The Polish Army is engaged in stabilization activities and peace missions in countries often characterized by completely different customs, culture and religion, as well as different bacterial and viral flora. It might be expected that foreign military operations will be more and more important, as the number of local conflicts is escalating. The safety and health of our citizens in these circumstances is the absolute priority. This article is dedicated to the safety of soldiers in the context of the risks associated with infectious diseases that can be prevented by vaccination. The main goal of this study is to verify the model and condition of immunization in the Polish Army in the context of foreign contingents, as well as presentation of the possibilities to optimize solutions in this field.
vaccines; typhoid fever; tetanus; diphtheria; poliomyelitis
Researchers from the Royal Netherlands Army are studying the potential of isolated lumbar extensor training in low back pain in their working population. Currently, a randomized controlled trial is carried out in five military health centers in The Netherlands and Germany, in which a 10-week program of not more than 2 training sessions (10–15 minutes) per week is studied in soldiers with nonspecific low back pain for more than 4 weeks. The purpose of the study is to investigate the efficacy of this 'minimal intervention program', compared to usual care. Moreover, attempts are made to identify subgroups of different responders to the intervention.
Besides a baseline measurement, follow-up data are gathered at two short-term intervals (5 and 10 weeks after randomization) and two long-term intervals (6 months and one year after the end of the intervention), respectively. At every test moment, participants fill out a compound questionnaire on a stand-alone PC, and they undergo an isometric back strength measurement on a lower back machine.
Primary outcome measures in this study are: self-assessed degree of complaints and degree of handicap in daily activities due to back pain. In addition, our secondary measurements focus on: fear of movement/(re-) injury, mental and social health perception, individual back extension strength, and satisfaction of the patient with the treatment perceived. Finally, we assess a number of potential prognostic factors: demographic and job characteristics, overall health, the degree of physical activity, and the attitudes and beliefs of the physiotherapist towards chronic low back pain.
Although a substantial number of trials have been conducted that included lumbar extension training in low back pain patients, hardly any study has emphasized a minimal intervention approach comparable to ours. For reasons of time efficiency and patient preferences, this minimal sports medicine approach of low back pain management is interesting for the population under study, and possibly for comparable working populations with physical demanding job activities.
The prevalence of mutations that confer resistance to antiretroviral drugs was examined in 56 drug-naive, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected individuals from the Army Health Service in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. No primary protease inhibitor mutations were found, but secondary mutations were observed in 51.2% of the samples. Fourteen percent of the viruses had reverse transcriptase inhibitor-associated mutations. Comparative analysis of protease secondary mutations from four different time periods in drug-naive patients in the city of Rio de Janeiro has indicated constant rates for particular mutations. Changes in CD4 cell counts and HIV viral load over time in subtype B- and non-B-infected drug-naive patients were not significantly different.
Risk factors for drowning are largely undocumented among military populations.
Accident report narratives will provide important information about the role of alcohol use and other behaviors in drownings among active duty male U.S. Army soldiers.
Using a case series design, we describe drowning deaths reported to the U.S. Army Safety Center (1980–1997), documenting associated demographic factors, alcohol use, and other risk-taking behaviors.
Drowning victims (n = 352) were disproportionately young, black, and single, with less time-in-service, and no college experience. Most drownings occurred off-duty (89%). Alcohol use was involved in at least 31% of the cases overall. Alcohol use was also associated with a 10-fold increase in reckless behavior (OR 9.6, 95% CI 4.5–20.7) and was most common among drownings in Europe (OR = 4.3, 95% CI 1.5–13.4). Most drownings occurred where no lifeguard was present (68%), but almost two-thirds occurred in the presence of others, with CPR initiated in less than one-third of these cases. Drownings involving minority victims were less likely to involve alcohol, but more likely to occur in unauthorized swimming areas. While most drownings did not involve violations of safety rules, over one-third of the cases involved some form of reckless behavior, particularly for those under age 21.
Intervention programs should be tailored to meet the needs of the demographic subgroups at highest risk since behavioral risk factors vary by race and age. CPR training and skills maintenance can improve survival rates. Narrative data are important for developing hypotheses and understanding risk factors for injuries.
drowning; alcohol; military personnel