Risk Factors for Disability Retirement Among Active Duty Air Force Personnel

Elmasry, Hoda; Gubata, Marlene E.; Packnett, Elizabeth R.; Niebuhr, David W.; Cowan, David N.
January 2014
Military Medicine;Jan2014, Vol. 179 Issue 1, p5
Academic Journal
Objective: To determine risk factors for disability retirement in Air Force personnel, as well as the conditions contributing to disability retirement. Methods: A matched case-control study was conducted. Air Force personnel with accession records who were disability retired between 2002 and 2011 were included as cases. Controls were matched by accession year from the population of accessions not evaluated for disability at a ratio of 2:1. Conditional logistic regression was used to determine the odds of disability retirement. Results: Women and those aged 25 or older were significantly more likely to be disability retired. Deployment was also associated with disability retirement but was significantly protective. Among women, the odds of disability retirement did not vary when stratified by deployment history. Preexisting medical conditions were not associated with disability retirement. Psychiatric conditions were the most common condition type among those who were disability retired in the Air Force. Conclusions: Additional studies are needed to assess risk factors for psychiatric disability, the most common disability retired condition, as well as to describe the role of occupation and combat exposure in disability retirement from the Air Force.


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