A national cohort study of the association between the polytrauma clinical triad and suicide-related behavior among US veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan

Erin P. Finley, Mary Bollinger, Polly H. Noël, Megan E. Amuan, Laurel A. Copeland, Jacqueline A. Pugh, Albana Dassori, Raymond Palmer, Craig Bryan, Mary Jo V. Pugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives. We examined the association of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, and chronic pain-the polytrauma clinical triad (PCT)-independently and with other conditions, with suicide-related behavior (SRB) risk among Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF; Afghanistan) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) veterans. Methods. We used Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administrative data to identify OEF and OIF veterans receiving VA care in fiscal years 2009-2011; we used International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes to characterize 211 652 cohort members. Descriptive statistics were followed by multinomial logistic regression analyses predicting SRB. Results. Co-occurrence of PCT conditions was associated with significant increase in suicide ideation risk (odds ratio [OR] = 1.9; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.5, 2.4) or attempt and ideation (OR = 2.6; 95% CI = 1.5, 4.6), but did not exceed increased risk with PTSD alone (ideation: OR = 2.3; 95% CI = 2.0, 2.6; attempt: OR = 2.0; 95% CI = 1.4, 2.9; ideation and attempt: OR = 1.8; 95% CI = 1.2, 2.8). Ideation risk was significantly elevated when PTSD was comorbid with depression (OR = 4.2; 95% CI = 3.6, 4.8) or substance abuse (OR = 4.7; 95% CI = 3.9, 5.6). Conclusions. Although PCT was a moderate SRB predictor, interactions among PCT conditions, particularly PTSD, and depression or substance abuse had larger risk increases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)380-387
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume105
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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