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The Relationship between Military Combat and Cardiovascular Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Boos, C., De Villiers, N., Dyball, D., McConnell, A. and Bennett, A.N., 2019. The Relationship between Military Combat and Cardiovascular Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Vascular Medicine, 2019, 9849465.

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9849465.pdf - Published Version
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DOI: 10.1155/2019/9849465


© 2019 Christopher J. Boos et al. Background and Objectives. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of death among military veterans with several reports suggesting a link between combat and related traumatic injury (TI) to an increased CVD risk. The aim of this paper is to conduct a widespread systematic review and meta-analysis of the relationship between military combat ± TI to CVD and its associated risk factors. Methods. PubMed, EmbaseProQuest, Cinahl databases and Cochrane Reviews were examined for all published observational studies (any language) reporting on CVD risk and outcomes, following military combat exposure ± TI versus a comparative nonexposed control population. Two investigators independently extracted data. Data quality was rated and rated using the 20-item AXIS Critical Appraisal Tool. The risk of bias (ROB using the ROBANS 6 item tool) and strength of evidence (SOE) were also critically appraised. Results. From 4499 citations, 26 studies (14 cross sectional and 12 cohort; 78-100% male) met the inclusion criteria. The follow up period ranged from 1 to 43.6 years with a sample size ranging from 19 to 621901 participants in the combat group. Combat-related TI was associated with a significantly increased risk for CVD (RR 1.80: 95% CI 1.24-2.62; I 2 = 59 %, p = 0.002) and coronary heart disease (CHD)-related death (risk ratio 1.57: 95% CI 1.35-1.83; I 2 = 0 %, p = 0.77: p < 0.0001), although the SOE was low. Military combat (without TI) was linked to a marginal, yet significantly lower pooled risk (low SOE) of cardiovascular death in the active combat versus control population (RR 0.90: CI 0.83-0.98; I 2 = 47 %, p = 0.02). There was insufficient evidence linking combat ± TI to any other cardiovascular outcomes or risk factors. Conclusion. There is low SOE to support a link between combat-related TI and both cardiovascular and CHD-related mortality. There is insufficient evidence to support a positive association between military combat ± any other adverse cardiovascular outcomes or risk factors. Data from well conducted prospective cohort studies following combat are needed.

Item Type:Article
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:33270
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:21 Jan 2020 11:57
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:19


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