Risk factors for mortality in Australian Vietnam-era national servicemen

a case-control study

Brian I. O'Toole, Michael A. Adena, M P Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Risk factors for mortality from all causes in Australian former National Service conscripts of the Vietnam conflict era were determined by comparing decedents with a random sample of survivors using data available from service records. Three-quarters of the deaths were due to external causes. A log-linear regression model was used to evaluate variables in four classes: education and cognitive abilities, employment, conduct while in service, and physical and mental health. Risk of mortality was higher for men with lower scores on the army intelligence test. Age left school and highest class reached were not as important to survival as participation in post-secondary education, which was associated with a lower risk of early death. Risk of death also increased with a conduct history of being Absent Without Leave or being charged for offences involving alcohol or motor vehicles. Employment instability between school and military service also was associated weakly with a higher risk of death, as was duration of hospitalisation during service. Given survival to the end of National Service, service in Vietnam per se did not figure in the regression model as an important determinant of subsequent mortality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-417
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1988
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Australia
  • Cause of Death
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Veterans
  • Vietnam
  • Comparative Study
  • Journal Article

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