Frequent Binge Drinking After Combat-Acquired Traumatic Brain Injury Among Active Duty Military Personnel With a Past Year Combat Deployment

Institute for Behavioral Health (Drs Larson and Horgan), The Heller School for Social Policy & Management (Ms Adams and Drs Horgan and Larson), Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts
The Journal of head trauma rehabilitation (Impact Factor: 2.92). 09/2012; 27(5):349-60. DOI: 10.1097/HTR.0b013e318268db94
Source: PubMed


: To determine whether combat-acquired traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with postdeployment frequent binge drinking among a random sample of active duty military personnel.
: Active duty military personnel who returned home within the past year from deployment to a combat theater of operations and completed a survey health assessment (N = 7155).
: Cross-sectional observational study with multivariate analysis of responses to the 2008 Department of Defense Survey of Health Related Behaviors Among Active Duty Military Personnel, an anonymous, random, population-based assessment of the armed forces.
: Frequent binge drinking: 5 or more drinks on the same occasion, at least once per week, in the past 30 days. TBI-AC: self-reported altered consciousness only; loss of consciousness (LOC) of less than 1 minute (TBI-LOC <1); and LOC of 1 minute or greater (TBI-LOC 1+) after combat injury event exposure.
: Of active duty military personnel who had a past year combat deployment, 25.6% were frequent binge drinkers and 13.9% reported experiencing a TBI on the deployment, primarily TBI-AC (7.5%). In regression models adjusting for demographics and positive screen for posttraumatic stress disorder, active duty military personnel with TBI had increased odds of frequent binge drinking compared with those with no injury exposure or without TBI: TBI-AC (adjusted odds ratio, 1.48; 95% confidence interval, 1.18-1.84); TBI-LOC 1+ (adjusted odds ratio, 1.67; 95% confidence interval, 1.00-2.79).
: Traumatic brain injury was significantly associated with past month frequent binge drinking after controlling for posttraumatic stress disorder, combat exposure, and other covariates.

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    • "Similarly, among more than 4,000 British soldiers returning from Afghanistan and/or Iraq, those that experienced a TBI were 2.3 times as likely to report alcohol misuse (Rona et al., 2012). A third study investigating binge drinking in active duty military personnel following combat deployment reported that TBI was a risk factor for binge drinking even after controlling for PTSD and demographics, with an odds ratio of 1.48 (Adams et al., 2012Adams et al., , 2016). Why exactly there is stronger evidence of post-TBI alcohol abuse in the military population is not clear. "
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