Incidence Rates of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Over a 17-Year Period in Active Duty Military Service Members

Jason L. Judkins, Brian A. Moore, Tyler L. Collette, Willie J. Hale, Alan L. Peterson, Sandra B. Morissette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects approximately 8% of the general population. The prevalence of PTSD is twice as high in active duty service members and military veterans. Few studies have investigated the incidence rates of PTSD in active duty military personnel. The present study evaluated the incidence of PTSD diagnoses and the differences between demographic factors for service members between 2001 and 2017. Data on 182,400 active duty service members between 2001 and 2017 were drawn from the Defense Medical Epidemiological Database and examined by sex, age, service branch, military pay grade, marital status, and race. From 2001 to 2017, the incidence rates of PTSD in the active force (per 1,000 service members) steadily climbed, with a low of 1.24 in 2002 to a high of 12.94 in 2016. Service members most often diagnosed with PTSD were in the U.S. Army, with the enlisted pay grades of E-5–E-9, White, married, male, and between 20 and 24 years old. Statistically significant differences, ps <.001, were found between observed and expected counts across all examined demographic variables. The present study is the first to our knowledge to provide a comprehensive examination of PTSD incidence rates in an active duty military population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)994-1006
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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