Why Military Suicides Have Soared


A new study looked at risk factors for suicide among  military personnel across all branches of service. There's some thought that deployments  to Iraq and Afghanistan have been increasing the risk of suicide.

Researchers at the the Naval Health Research Center looked at National Death Registeries and a study, of long-term health effects of deployment.

They   examined 22 risk factors including, number and length of deployments, combat experience, rank, and mental health disorders, like bipolar disorder, depression and alcohol misuse.

They found no link between deployments and the risk of suicide. Instead, the majority of suicides happened among people who  never deployed in support of the current operations

Researchers say  mental health factors, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and alcohol related problems  were associated with suicide 

Male service members had a two times higher risk of suicide than female service members but this same trend also exists in the general population.

The study's in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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