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HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Comorbidity and functional correlates of anxiety and physical conditions in Canadian Veterans

February, 2015
Article:

Military personnel transitioning from military service to civilian life undergo a complex process of re-integration. This research explores the relationship between anxiety disorders and physical conditions in Canadian Veterans, in order to assess their relation to physical and mental health quality of life.

Abstract

Little is known about the relationship between anxiety disorders and physical conditions in Canadian Veterans. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the comorbidity of anxiety and physical conditions and their relation to physical and mental health-related quality of life and activity limitations in a nationally representative sample of Canadian Veterans. Any anxiety disorder was associated with significantly elevated rates of cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and musculoskeletal conditions; diabetes; and chronic pain after controlling for sociodemographics, military characteristics, any mood disorder, and heavy drinking. However, when additionally controlling for number of physical conditions, any anxiety disorder remained significantly associated with gastrointestinal conditions (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.63, 99% confidence interval [CI] = 1.07-2.50) and chronic pain (AOR = 1.79, 99% CI = 1.15-2.78). Co-occurring anxiety disorders and musculoskeletal conditions were associated with poorer physical health-related quality of life and activity limitations than musculoskeletal conditions alone. Anxiety disorders and physical health problems co-occur at high rates among Canadian Veterans, and this comorbidity is linked to poorer physical health-related quality of life and activity limitations. These findings have implications for supporting at-risk personnel with the transition to civilian life and for informing health promotion and prevention efforts.

Full Reference

Comorbidity and functional correlates of anxiety and physical conditions in Canadian Veterans. Renée El-Gabalawy,James M. Thompson,Jill Sweet, Julie Erickson,Corey S. Mackenzie, Robert H. Pietrzak, Linda VanTil, Jitender Sareen, 1(1), pp. 37-46.

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