Study finds no increased risk of COVID-19 in veterans

Study finds no increased risk of COVID-19 in veterans

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The number of Scottish veterans who were hospitalized with COVID-19 or who died from the disease was no greater than in the wider community, according to new research published today.

The study, from the University of Glasgow and published in BMJ Military Health, compared veterans with people who had never served, and found that there were no more serious cases of COVID-19 overall than in the non-veterans.

However, veterans who did not complete their initial term of military engagement had a greater risk of being hospitalized; and veterans over 70 years of age had a higher risk of dying from COVID-19 than non-veterans.

Lead researcher Dr. Beverly Bergman, Honorary Clinical Associate Professor and leader of the Scottish Veterans Health Research Group at the University of Glasgow said, “This is an important study as previously we had no information on whether having served in the military affected people’s risk of a serious outcome after contracting COVID-19.

“We now know that overall it does not, which is reassuring. We did find that people with very short service were at increased risk, and there was an increased risk of death in the very oldest veterans, but it is likely that socio-economic circumstances and communal living played a part in these findings, rather than itself.”

The , using data from the Trends in Scottish Veterans’ Health Study, looked at 71,000 veterans and 230,000 non-veterans in Scotland born between 1945 and 1995, matched for age, sex and area of residence.

The study used survival analysis to examine the risk of COVID-19 in veterans compared with non-, and explored associations with other conditions such as , lung disorders and diabetes as well as common mental disorders.

More information:
Beverly P Bergman et al, Impact of COVID-19 on the veteran population: evidence from the Trends in Scottish Veterans Health study, BMJ Military Health (2024). DOI: 10.1136/military-2024-002677

Study finds no increased risk of COVID-19 in veterans (2024, May 6)
retrieved 6 May 2024

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