Objective. We investigated the incidence of first-onset psychiatric disorders among Ohio Army National Guard members and the sociodemographic and military factors associated with these incident disorders. We aimed to identify potential risk factors and mitigating factors for a range of psychiatric disorders in a representative military sample. Methods. We analyzed data on a representative sample of 528 Ohio Army National Guard members who were assessed in person annually for first-onset psychiatric disorders from 2008 through 2012 using structured clinical interviews. We used a multivariable discrete-time Cox proportional hazard model to determine risk factors of first-onset anxiety or mood disorders. Results. The annualized incidence rate of any first-onset psychiatric disorder was 9.8 per 100 person-years at risk. Alcohol use disorder and major depressive disorder had the highest incidence rates among the unique disorders under study (5.0 and 4.2 per 100 person-years at risk, respectively). We found an association between respondents endorsing past-year deployment and a 29% increase in the risk of incident anxiety or mood disorder, whereas the past-year experience of any non-deployment traumatic event was associated with a 32% increase in risk of incident anxiety or mood disorder. Conclusion. Soldiers experience a substantial burden of first-onset alcohol use disorder and major depressive disorder annually; the experience of non-deployment–related traumatic events contributes substantially to increasing risk, suggesting that any effort aimed at mitigating mood and anxiety disorders in this population must consider the soldier’s life experience and military experience.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health