The Health of Veterans: Findings from the National Health Interview Survey

Ellen A. Kramarow, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC
Patricia Pastor, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC

The well-being of military families and veterans is a topic of current interest to public health and policy experts. Data to study this topic are usually drawn from convenience samples and/or military or veteran databases, which limit their ability to draw meaningful comparisons with the non-veteran population. The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is an underutilized source for studying community-dwelling veterans, especially non-elderly veterans. In this paper, we describe the socio-demographic and health profile of non-institutionalized veterans using NHIS data from 2007-2010. A snapshot view of their health reveals a mixed picture: veterans aged 45-54 are more likely to report fair or poor health than non-veterans, while older veterans (age 65 and older) are less likely to report their health as fair or poor. Veterans are less likely to have no health insurance compared with non-veterans and more likely to report having seen or talked to a mental health professional in the past year.

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Presented in Poster Session 1