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Comment & Response
December 18, 2013

Suicides Among Military Personnel

Author Affiliations
  • 1Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts

Copyright 2013 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2013;310(23):2565. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.282695

To the Editor Ms LeardMann and colleagues1 reported on 83 suicides among 151 560 participants of the MCS and found that suicide was not associated with deployment or combat. In particular, 58% of suicide deaths were among those without any deployments; the age- and sex-adjusted hazard ratio for number of deployments was not significant; and the cumulative number of days deployed was negatively correlated with suicide risk. This study draws attention to depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and alcohol problems as risk factors for suicide, but we believe the method of analysis was flawed in regard to deployment.