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Published Online: 1 April 2017

Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Deployment Binge Drinking among Male and Female Army Active Duty Service Members Returning from Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom

Publication: Journal of Neurotrauma
Volume 34, Issue Number 7

Abstract

This study examines whether the relationship between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-deployment binge drinking is independent of screening positive for mental health problems among male and female service members. Data are from the Substance Use and Psychological Injury Combat Study of Army members returning from deployment to Afghanistan or Iraq in fiscal years 2008–2011. The sample consists of 240,694 male and 26,406 female active duty members who completed initial and follow-up questionnaires. The initial questionnaire, completed at the end of deployment, included screens for TBI and mental health problems (post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, harmful thoughts). The dependent variable, frequent binge drinking (six or more drinks on one occasion, at least monthly), was assessed on the follow-up questionnaire on average 3–9 months post-deployment. More than 21% of males and 7% of females reported frequent binge drinking. Male members were more likely to screen positive for TBI, compared with females (7.5% vs. 4.4%). Females with both TBI and mental health positive screens had more than double the risk of frequent binge drinking, compared with those without either problem (15.8% vs. 6.6%), and males with both problems had almost double the risk, compared with males with neither problem (33.6% vs. 19.7%). In multivariable logistic regression models, having a TBI and a comorbid positive mental health screen was associated with increased odds of frequent binge drinking among both males and females (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.59, CI: 1.50-1.69, and AOR = 2.11, CI: 1.57-2.83, respectively), compared with those with neither condition. More research is needed on the interaction of gender and binge drinking, especially when TBI and mental health problems co-exist.

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cover image Journal of Neurotrauma
Journal of Neurotrauma
Volume 34Issue Number 7April 1, 2017
Pages: 1457 - 1465
PubMed: 27762655

History

Published in print: April 1, 2017
Published online: 1 April 2017
Published ahead of print: 2 December 2016
Published ahead of production: 20 October 2016

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Rachel S. Adams
The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts.
John D. Corrigan
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
Beth A. Mohr
The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts.
Thomas V. Williams
United States Department of Defense, Falls Church, Virginia.
Mary Jo Larson
The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts.

Notes

Address correspondence to:Rachel Sayko Adams, PhD, MPHThe Institute for Behavioral HealthThe Heller School for Social Policy and ManagementBrandeis University415 South StreetWaltham, MA 02453E-mail: [email protected]

Author Disclosure Statement

The opinions and assertions herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the DoD, NIDA, or the National Institutes of Health. No competing financial interests exist.

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