Research Reports - Risk of alcohol use disorder or other drug use disorder following traumatic brain injury

Mil Med. 2015 Feb;180(2):208-15

Johnson LA(1), Eick-Cost A(2), Jeffries V(2), Russell K(2), Otto JL(2)

OBJECTIVES: Evaluate the risk of developing an alcohol use disorder (AUD) or
other drug use disorder (ODUD) in U.S. service members (SMs) after incident
traumatic brain injury (TBI) in both the deployed and the nondeployed setting.
PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: Retrospective cohort study of U.S. SMs who served on
active duty from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2010. The exposed cohort
consisted of SMs who received an incident diagnosis of TBI during the exposure
period. The unexposed cohort was populated with a 10% random sample of SMs with
any other medical diagnosis over the exposure period.
RESULTS: After adjusting for various demographic factors, TBI severity, historic
diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), comorbid PTSD, and comorbid
mental health outcomes, the TBI cohort (n = 53,817) demonstrated elevated
incident rate ratio of developing AUD (adjusted incidence rate ratios (IRR) 1.5,
95% confidence interval (CI) 1.4, 1.6, p < 0.0001) as compared to an unexposed
cohort (n = 151,776). The TBI cohort did not demonstrate elevated risk of ODUD as
compared to the unexposed cohort (adjusted IRR 1.0, 95% CI 1.0, 1.2, p = 0.178).
CONCLUSIONS: U.S. SMs diagnosed with incident TBI demonstrated increased risk of
developing an AUD within 1 year of incident TBI as compared to SMs without
diagnosed TBI.

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