Category: Department of Defense (DoD)

High MS Rates in Veterans: Don’t Blame the First Gulf War Zone

High MS Rates in Veterans: Don’t Blame the First Gulf War Zone

Military personnel serving during the first Gulf War have one of the highest incidence rates for multiple sclerosis (MS) ever reported, leading to speculation that environmental exposures in the war zone triggered the disease. Research trying to determine causes, however,… Read More

Recruits, Military Breathe Easier with Relaxed Asthma Accession Standards

Recruits, Military Breathe Easier with Relaxed Asthma Accession Standards

Unlike 10 years ago, the military services now accept recruits who had childhood asthma but have not been symptomatic since age 13. The relaxation of accession standards partly was necessitated by the increasing incidence of asthma in the general population.… Read More

New Mothers May Need Counseling, Training to Pass Postpartum Military Fitness Test

New Mothers May Need Counseling, Training to Pass Postpartum Military Fitness Test

By Annette M. Boyle FAIRFIELD, CA —Many women return to their units after pregnancy with one overriding concern: “Can I pass the fitness test?” The vast majority of those women do end up passing the six-month postpartum test, but their… Read More

Consolidated Pharmacy Services in New DHA to Save $2B by 2019

Consolidated Pharmacy Services in New DHA to Save $2B by 2019

WASHINGTON — The consolidation of 10 functions that have been performed separately by the Army, Navy and Air Force under the Defense Health Agency is projected to save $2 billion by 2019.

Privacy Laws Prevent Commanders’ Awareness of Potentially Violent Servicemembers

Privacy Laws Prevent Commanders’ Awareness of Potentially Violent Servicemembers

WASHINGTON — In the aftermath of a mass shooting at Fort Hood, TX, last month, questions were once again being raised about how effectively the military can identify servicemembers with mental health issues who are prone to violence.

Congress Frustrated About Slow Progress Toward DoD/VA Shared Health Data

Congress Frustrated About Slow Progress Toward DoD/VA Shared Health Data

WASHINGTON — Slow progress by the DoD and VA in achieving the seamless sharing of standardized health data continues to frustrate members of Congress.

Military Medicine Also Benefits Civilians

Military Medicine Also Benefits Civilians

By Jonathan Woodson, MD, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Throughout every war, the Military Health System (www.health.mil) has made significant medical advancements to help protect our troops. Our innovations not only save the lives of our servicemembers but… Read More

Spirometry Touted as Best Way to Accurately Diagnose COPD

Spirometry Touted as Best Way to Accurately Diagnose COPD

Test Results Also Valuable in Inspiring Smoking Cessation SEATTLE — Spirometry remains the only recognized method of definitively diagnosing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but nearly two-thirds of patients with a COPD diagnosis have never had the test, according to VA… Read More

COPD Diagnosis/Staging Changed With New Global Guidelines

COPD Diagnosis/Staging Changed With New Global Guidelines

Update Expected for VA/DoD Later This Year By Annette M. Boyle BETHESDA, MD — The leading guidelines for diagnosis and management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) include significant new recommendations this year that promise to alter the way the… Read More

Military Sexual Trauma Survivors Call for More Services for Victims

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Military sexual trauma (MST) survivors told a Senate subcommittee that improvements still are needed to ensure rape victims get all the help they need in the DoD and VA healthcare systems. “Good counselors are the… Read More

LOS, Costs Decreased in VA Joint Replacement Initiative

INDIANAPOLIS — Five years ago, an analysis of joint replacement surgical procedures at the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Indianapolis revealed that $1.4 million in non-VA care costs had been spent for total hip and knee replacements… Read More

Increasing Knee Replacements for African-American Vets

PHILADELPHIA — Even though joint-replacement surgery is considered one of the most effective treatments for end-stage knee osteoarthritis, relieving pain in more than 90% of patients, African-Americans are much less likely than whites to consider it as an option. Consequently, those… Read More

Biomechanical Risk Factors Identified for Fractures

WEST POINT, NY — Stress fracture injuries disproportionately affect military servicemembers, yet little is known about the biomechanical risk factors associated with them. That’s why a team led by researchers from Keller Army Hospital in West Point, NY, prospectively examined… Read More

IoM: DoD’s Programs to Prevent Mental Health Disorders Lack Evidence

IoM: DoD’s Programs to Prevent Mental Health Disorders Lack Evidence

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Between 2000 and 2011, almost 1 million servicemembers or veterans were diagnosed with at least one psychological disorder, either during or after deployment, with nearly half having multiple disorders, according to the Institute of Medicine… Read More

Black Servicemembers At More Hypertension Risk, Despite Equitable Healthcare

Black Servicemembers At More Hypertension Risk, Despite Equitable Healthcare

SILVER SPRING, MD — Military research is raising a new question about an old issue: Why do African-Americans have higher incidence rates of hypertension compared with servicemembers of other races and ethnicities despite equitable access to healthcare within the armed forces?

 FY 2015 Budget Seeks to Merge Three TRICARE Plans to Save DoD Costs

FY 2015 Budget Seeks to Merge Three TRICARE Plans to Save DoD Costs

WASHINGTON — In a highly controversial proposal, President Barack Obama’s FY 2015 budget request recommends merging three TRICARE health plans for those under 65 — Prime, Standard and Extra — into a “single, modernized health plan.”

 Pre-Enlistment Mental Disorders Big Contributors to Army Suicide Risks

Pre-Enlistment Mental Disorders Big Contributors to Army Suicide Risks

CAMBRIDGE, MA — About half of all soldiers reporting that they had tried to kill themselves said that their initial suicide attempt occurred before enlistment, according to a new study.

Agent Orange Exposure Appears to Double Risk of Invasive Skin Cancer

Agent Orange Exposure Appears to Double Risk of Invasive Skin Cancer

HOUSTON — Even four decades later, veterans exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War have twice the risk of developing unusually invasive nonmelanotic skin cancers compared with the general population, according to a recent study.

Internet Tool Uses Patient Feedback to Improve Army Pain Management

Internet Tool Uses Patient Feedback to Improve Army Pain Management

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — A new Internet tool is a powerful weapon to combat pain, and the DoD is now launching it in a pilot location. The Pain Assessment Screening Tool and Outcomes Registry (PASTOR) recently was rolled out… Read More

New Defense/Veteran Guidelines Provide Recovery Path for MTBI Patients

New Defense/Veteran Guidelines Provide Recovery Path for MTBI Patients

SILVER SPRING, MD — How and when should a servicemember return to activity after a concussion?