1Joint Base Lewis McChord, National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2), Tacoma, WA, USA.
2Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
3Department of Veterans Affairs, Institute for Clinical Research, Washington DC VA Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA.
4Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Public Health, Post-Deployment Health Strategic Healthcare Group, Washington, DC, USA.
The association between suicide and combat injuries sustained during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was examined. A retrospective population-based cohort design was conducted using official military records to identify combat injuries (October 7, 2001, to December 31, 2007). Those who were injured during combat had higher crude suicide rates than those who deployed and were not injured (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.50; confidence interval [CI] = 1.06, 2.12), or never deployed (IRR = 1.46; CI = 1.04, 2.06). After adjusting for demographics, these findings were no longer statistically significant. Although our data did not support an elevated suicide risk among wounded service members, additional research is needed to examine the impact of injury severity.