Prevalence, correlates, and symptom profiles of depression among men with a history of military service
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- Britton, P.C., Bossarte, R.M., Lu, N. et al. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol (2011) 46: 607. doi:10.1007/s00127-010-0226-y
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The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence, correlates, and symptom profiles of depressive disorders in men with a history of military service.
Data were obtained from the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey. Multivariable logistic regressions were used to identify correlates of lifetime and current depression. Regularly occurring symptom profiles were identified via cluster analysis.
Prevalence of lifetime and current depression was similar in men with and without a history of military service. Younger age was positively, and black minority status, being in a relationship and self-reported good health were negatively associated with a lifetime diagnosis of depression. Other minority status (non-Hispanic, non-black) was positively, and older age, some college, being in a relationship, and self-reported good health were negatively associated with current depression. A cluster of younger men who experience significant depressive symptoms but may not report depressed mood or anhedonia was identified.
Depression is as prevalent in men with a history of military service as it is in men without a history. Research should focus on subpopulations of men with a history of military service in which depression may be more prevalent or burdensome. Younger men with significant depressive symptoms may be missed by standard depression screens and still be at elevated risk for negative outcomes associated with depression.