Original Paper

Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 46, Issue 7, pp 607-614

First online:

Prevalence, correlates, and symptom profiles of depression among men with a history of military service

  • Peter C. BrittonAffiliated withCenter of Excellence, Department of Veterans Affairs, Canandaigua Medical CenterCenter for the Study and Prevention of Suicide, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center Email author 
  • , Robert M.  BossarteAffiliated withCenter of Excellence, Department of Veterans Affairs, Canandaigua Medical CenterCenter for the Study and Prevention of Suicide, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center
  • , Naiji LuAffiliated withCenter of Excellence, Department of Veterans Affairs, Canandaigua Medical CenterDepartment of Biostatistics, University of Rochester Medical Center
  • , Hua HeAffiliated withCenter of Excellence, Department of Veterans Affairs, Canandaigua Medical CenterDepartment of Biostatistics, University of Rochester Medical Center
  • , Glenn W.  CurrierAffiliated withCenter of Excellence, Department of Veterans Affairs, Canandaigua Medical CenterCenter for the Study and Prevention of Suicide, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center
  • , John CrillyAffiliated withCenter of Excellence, Department of Veterans Affairs, Canandaigua Medical CenterCenter for the Study and Prevention of Suicide, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center
  • , Tom RichardsonAffiliated withCenter of Excellence, Department of Veterans Affairs, Canandaigua Medical CenterCenter for the Study and Prevention of Suicide, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center
  • , Xin TuAffiliated withCenter of Excellence, Department of Veterans Affairs, Canandaigua Medical CenterDepartment of Biostatistics, University of Rochester Medical Center
  • , Kerry L.  KnoxAffiliated withCenter of Excellence, Department of Veterans Affairs, Canandaigua Medical CenterCenter for the Study and Prevention of Suicide, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center

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Abstract

Purpose

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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.

Keywords

Depression Prevalence Military personnel Veterans