Sweden contributed with military troops to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan between 2002 and 2014. Based on nationwide registers, this study compared violent crime convictions among the Swedish veterans deployed to Afghanistan and matched controls from the general population. The results showed that the veterans did not differ from the general population in terms of crime conviction rates after deployment.
To investigate the incidence of violent crime conviction among Swedish military veterans after deployment to Afghanistan versus non-deployed comparators. The main outcome was first conviction of a violent crime, retrieved from the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention Register until December 31, 2013. During 21 898 person-years of follow-up (median = 3.6 years) there were 26 events among deployed military veterans compared with 98 in non-deployed fully matched comparators [12 vs 9 per 10 000 person-years, adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 1.36; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.88–2.10]. Among non-deployed age-sex-matched comparators there were 170 violent crime convictions (16 per 10 000 person-years; aHR 0.85; 95% CI 0.56–1.29). Factors associated with greater risk of violent crime convictions were younger age, lower scores on cognitive ability tests and psychological assessment, and convictions preceding deployment. The violent crime conviction rate after returning from military deployment to Afghanistan was not different compared with non-deployed comparators in individuals without history of violent crime convictions.
Pethrus CM, Frisell T, Reutfors J, et al., 2019. Violent crime among Swedish military veterans after deployment to Afghanistan: a population-based matched cohort study. Int J Epidemiol.