Suicide Risk Among Wounded U.S. Service Members

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Abstract

The association between suicide and combat injuries sustained during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was examined. A retrospective population-based cohort design was conducted using official military records to identify combat injuries (October 7, 2001, to December 31, 2007). Those who were injured during combat had higher crude suicide rates than those who deployed and were not injured (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.50; confidence interval [CI] = 1.06, 2.12), or never deployed (IRR = 1.46; CI = 1.04, 2.06). After adjusting for demographics, these findings were no longer statistically significant. Although our data did not support an elevated suicide risk among wounded service members, additional research is needed to examine the impact of injury severity.

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