Health Services Research & Development

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McCabe JE, Katon JG, Ma E, Fortney JC, Grote NK, Zephyrin LC, Callegari LS. Preconception Health Risk Factors in Women with and without a History of Military Service. Women's health issues : official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. 2018 Nov 1; 28(6):539-545.
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Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Given the increasing number of women service members and veterans of childbearing age, it is important to understand the preconception risks in this potentially vulnerable population. This study compared the prevalence of modifiable preconception risk factors among women with and without a history of service. METHODS: Analyses included data from the 2013 and 2014 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Preconception risk factors included health behaviors, chronic conditions, and mental health among women of childbearing age. Multivariate logistic regressions were used to compare the adjusted prevalence of each outcome among women with and without a history of service. Interaction terms assessed variation by age and history of service. RESULTS: Compared with women without a history of service, women with a history of service reported higher prevalence of insufficient sleep (49.6% vs. 36.3%; p < .001) and diagnosed depression (26.5% vs. 21.6%; p < .01). Women with a history of service were overall less likely to have obesity (19.8% vs. 26.5%; p < .001). Age-stratified results suggested that, compared with women without a history of service, women with a history of service were more likely to smoke in the 25 to 34 age group and reported comparable levels of obesity in the 35 to 44 age group. CONCLUSIONS: Women with a history of service demonstrated a preconception health profile that differs from women without a history of service. It is critical that providers are aware of their patients' military status and potential associated risks.