Leo Sher, M.D.
A research paper, “Traumatic brain injury and attempted suicide among veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan” has recently been published in the American Journal of Epidemiology (1). The authors examined the associations between deployment-related traumatic brain injury, psychiatric diagnoses, and attempted suicide among 273,591 veterans deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn. The veterans received care from VA medical facilities in 2005-2012.
Veterans with traumatic brain injury were more likely to make a suicide attempt than those without (0.54% vs. 0.14%). 83% of the association of traumatic brain injury with attempted suicide was mediated by comorbid psychiatric disorders and with posttraumatic stress disorder having the greatest effect. The authors suggest that future research should include studies of the possible biological interaction of traumatic brain injury and psychiatric conditions.
- Fonda JR, Fredman L, Brogly SB, McGlinchey RE, Milberg WP, Gradus JL. Traumatic brain injury and attempted suicide among veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Am J Epidemiol. 2017 May 3:1-7. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwx044. [Epub ahead of print]