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HPA&E Studies : Journal Publications

Progress toward Healthy People 2000 Objectives among US Military Personnel.

Author: Bray RM, Rae Olmsted KL, Williams J, Sanchez RP, Hartzell M.

Objective:
Examine progress toward Healthy People 2000 objectives among active-duty military personnel and identify subgroups at risk for not meeting objectives.

Methods:
Comprehensive Department of Defense surveys were completed in 1995, 1998, and 2002. Target behaviors were analyzed for achievement of objectives and demographic factors for their relationship to unmet objectives.

Results:
The military met 7 of 15 objectives assessed in 2002. Achieved objectives, such as drug use, exercise, and safety equipment use, were generally behaviors monitored by military requirements. Unmet risk behavior and health maintenance objectives were related to military demographics, civilian trends, and societal norms. Smoking was more likely not met by enlisted (OR = 2.7, CI = 2.0-3.9), male, white, less educated, younger, single, Army, and Navy personnel. Overweight was more likely not met by male (OR = 3.4, CI = 3.0-4.0), African American, Hispanic, more educated, aged 35 or older, married, enlisted, and Navy personnel. Health maintenance goals were more likely not met by enlisted (OR = 1.5, CI: 1.1-2.2), male, nonwhite, less educated, younger, single, Navy, and Marine personnel.

Conclusions:
Objectives are more likely met when regulatory mechanisms encourage compliance. Future studies are needed to understand mechanisms accounting for achievement of objectives. Next steps for unmet objectives are to target interventions for high-risk groups.

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