Health indicators for military, veteran, and civilian women
Lehavot, K., Hoerster, K. D., Nelson, K. M., Jakupcak, M., & Simpson, T. L. (2012). Health indicators for military, veteran, and civilian women. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 42(5), 473-480. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2012.01.006
Abstract Created by REACH:
Data from a population-based study including civilians, Veterans, Active Duty, and National Guard or Reserves members were used to compare the health status of women who have served in the military to that of civilians. Results indicate that although National Guard or Reserve women (similar outcomes) and Active Duty women (better outcomes) compared favorably, Veterans consistently reported poorer health outcomes than civilian women.
Branch of Service:
Active duty service member
Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)
Aged (65 yrs & older)
Lehavot, Keren, Hoerster, Katherine D., Nelson, Karin M., Jakupcak, Matthew, Simpson, Tracy L.
Background Women who have served in the military are a rapidly growing population. No previous studies have compared directly their health status to that of civilians. Purpose To provide estimates of several leading U.S. health indicators by military service status among women. Methods Data were obtained from the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, a U.S. population-based study. Health outcomes were compared by military status using multivariable logistic regression among the female participants (274,399 civilians, 4221 veterans, 661 active duty, and 995 National Guard or Reserves [NG/R]). Data were analyzed in August 2011. Results Veterans reported poorer general health and greater incidence of health risk behaviors, mental health conditions, and chronic health conditions than civilian women. Active duty women reported better access to health care, better physical health, less engagement in health risk behaviors, and greater likelihood of having had a recent Pap than civilian women. Women from the NG/R were comparable to civilians across most health domains, although they had a greater likelihood of being overweight or obese and reporting a depressive and anxiety disorder. Conclusions Compared with civilian women, NG/R women rated their health and access to health care similarly and active duty women rated theirs better on several domains, but veterans consistently reported poorer health.
VA Puget Sound Health Care System, University of Washington, KL
VA Puget Sound Health Care System, University of Washington, KDH
VA Puget Sound Health Care System, University of Washington, KMN
VA Puget Sound Health Care System, University of Washington, MJ
VA Puget Sound Health Care System, University of Washington, TLS
health indicators, military women, veterans, civilian wome, health risk behavior, chronic health
REACH Publication Type:
VA Puget Sound Health Care System, US