Disability Rating, Age at Death, and Cause of Death in U.S. Veterans with Service-Connected Conditions.

This study used information from the VETSNET file, which is a snapshot of selected items from the Veterans Benefits Administration corporate database. We also used the National Death Index (NDI) for Veterans which is part of the VA Suicide Data Repository. In VETSNET, there were 758,324 Veterans who had a service-connected condition and died between the years 2004 and 2014. Using the scrambled social security number to link the two files resulted in 605,493 (80%) deceased Veterans. Age at death, sex, and underlying cause of death were obtained from the NDI for Veterans and military service characteristics and types of disability were acquired from VETSNET. We constructed age categories corresponding to period of service; birth years 1938 and earlier corresponded to Korea and World War II ("oldest"), birth years 1939-1957 to the Vietnam era ("middle"), and birth years 1958 and later to post Vietnam, Gulf War, and the more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan ("youngest"). Results: Sixty-two percent were in the oldest age category, 34% in the middle group, and 4% in the youngest one. The overall age at death was 75 ± 13 yr. Only 1.6% of decedents were women; among women 25% were in the youngest age group, while among men only 4% were in the youngest group. Most decedents were enlisted personnel, and 60% served in the U.S. Army. Nearly 61% had a disability rating of>50% and for the middle age group 54% had a disability rating of 10...
Source: Military Medicine - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Tags: Mil Med Source Type: research

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