Cynthia A. LeardMann, MPH, et al.
JAMA. 2013;310(5):496-506. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.65164.
Beginning in 2005, the incidence of suicide deaths in the US military began to sharply increase. Unique stressors, such as combat deployments, have been assumed to underlie the increasing incidence. Previous military suicide studies, however, have relied on case series and cross-sectional investigations and have not linked data during service with post service periods.
To prospectively identify and quantify risk factors associated with suicide in current and former US military personnel including demographic, military, mental health, behavioral, and deployment characteristics.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Prospective longitudinal study with accrual and assessment of participants in 2001, 2004, and 2007. Questionnaire data were linked with the National Death Index and the Department of Defense Medical Mortality Registry through December 31, 2008. Participants were current and former US military personnel from all service branches, including active and Reserve/National Guard, who were included in the Millennium Cohort Study (N = 151 560).
One of the Conclusions
Despite universal access to health care services, mandatory suicide prevention training, and other preventive efforts, suicide has become one of the leading causes of death in the US military in recent years. Suicide rates across the population of active-duty US military personnel began to increase sharply in 2005 from a baseline rate of 10.3 to 11.3 per 100 000 persons to a rate of 16.3 per 100 000 persons in 2008, with the highest rates among Marine Corps and Army personnel (19.9 and 19.3 per 100 000 persons). Since 2009, suicide rates among those on active-duty status have stabilized at approximately 18 per 100 000.
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