Linking Sleep Disorders & Sleep-related Medical Diagnosis to Nondeployability in Soldiers

Research Paper Title

Sleep Disturbances and Predictors of Nondeployability Among Active-Duty Army Soldiers: An Odds Ratio Analysis of Medical Healthcare Data From Fiscal Year 2018.

Background

The impact of sleep disorders on active-duty soldiers’ medical readiness is not currently quantified. Patient data generated at military treatment facilities can be accessed to create research reports and thus can be used to estimate the prevalence of sleep disturbances and the role of sleep on overall health in service members. The current study aimed to quantify sleep-related health issues and their impact on health and nondeployability through the analysis of US military healthcare records from fiscal year 2018 (FY2018).

Methods

Medical diagnosis information and deployability profiles (e-Profiles) were queried for all active-duty U.S. Army patients with a concurrent sleep disorder diagnosis receiving medical care within FY2018. Nondeployability was predicted from medical reasons for having an e-Profile (categorised as sleep, behavioural health, musculoskeletal, cardiometabolic, injury, or accident) using binomial logistic regression. Sleep e-Profiles were investigated as a moderator between other e-Profile categories and nondeployability.

Results

Out of 582,031 soldiers, 48.4% (n = 281,738) had a sleep-related diagnosis in their healthcare records, 9.7% (n = 56,247) of soldiers had e-Profiles, and 1.9% (n = 10,885) had a sleep e-Profile. Soldiers with sleep e-Profiles were more likely to have had a motor vehicle accident (pOR (prevalence odds ratio) =4.7, 95% CI 2.63-8.39, P ≤ 0.001) or work/duty-related injury (pOR = 1.6, 95% CI 1.32-1.94, P ≤ 0.001). The likelihood of nondeployability was greater in soldiers with a sleep e-Profile and a musculoskeletal e-Profile (pOR = 4.25, 95% CI 3.75-4.81, P ≤ 0.001) or work/duty-related injury (pOR = 2.62, 95% CI 1.63-4.21, P ≤ 0.001).

Conclusion

Nearly half of soldiers had a sleep disorder or sleep-related medical diagnosis in 2018, but their sleep problems are largely not profiled as limitations to medical readiness. Musculoskeletal issues and physical injury predict nondeployability, and nondeployability is more likely to occur in soldiers who have sleep e-Profiles in addition to these issues. Addressing sleep problems may prevent accidents and injuries that could render a soldier nondeployable.

Reference

Devine, J.K., Collen, J., Choynowski, J.J. & Capaldi, V. (2020) Sleep Disturbances and Predictors of Nondeployability Among Active-Duty Army Soldiers: An Odds Ratio Analysis of Medical Healthcare Data From Fiscal Year 2018. Military Medicine Research. 7(1), pp.10. doi: 10.1186/s40779-020-00239-7.

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